Auslaender, Nahum

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AUSLAENDER, NAHUM (Nokhem Oyslender ; 1893–1962), Soviet Yiddish critic, literary historian, and writer. Auslaender, who was born near Kiev, studied medicine in Berlin and Kiev, was drafted into the Red Army as a physician in 1919, and settled in Moscow in 1921. He early became a leading figure of the Yiddish literary criticism and research. From 1917, when his first volume of poetry, Lider ("Poems"), appeared, he published in various Soviet Yiddish journals – poetry, prose, and especially critical essays dealing with the classics of Yiddish literature, as well as with contemporary writers. After teaching Yiddish at the Moscow Western University, he headed the Yiddish literature section at the Belorussian Academy of Sciences in Minsk from 1926 to 1928 and the literature section at the Institute for Jewish Proletarian Culture of the Ukrainian Academy of Science, Kiev, from 1928 to 1931, institutions most active in studying and editing Yiddish texts. In 1946, he was on the historical commission of the anti-Fascist committee but was spared during the purges of 1948 to 1953. He was on the editorial staff of Sovetish Heymland from its launching in Moscow in 1961 until his death. His most important studies are Grundshtrikhn fun Yidishn Realizm ("Main Characteristics of Jewish Realism," Kiev (1919; Vilna, 1928)); Veg Ayn, Veg Oys ("Through All Pathways," 1924); Goldfaden, Materialn far a Biografie ("Goldfaden: Materials for a Biography," together with U. Finkel, 1926); Der Yunger Sholem-Aleykhem un Zayn Roman "Stempenyu" ("The Younger Sholem Aleichem and His Novel Stempenyu," 1928); Yidisher Teater ("Yiddish Theater," 1940).


lnyl, 1 (1956), 30–1; Sovetish Heymland, 6 (1962), 120. add. bibliography: U. Finkel, in: Shtern (Minsk), 2 (1941), 63–76; Kratkaya Yevreiskaya Entsiklopediya, 6 (1992), 143; M.D. Kiel, in: Yivo-Bleter, 4 (2003), 259–70.

[Shlomo Bickel]