Axelrod, Selik

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AXELROD, SELIK (1904–1941), Soviet Yiddish poet. Born in Molodetchno, Vilna province, Axelrod lived in Tambov during the war, then studied literature in Moscow. He began to publish poetry in 1920 and contributed to various Yiddish journals in the Soviet Union, especially Royte Velt (Kharkov, 1925–26) and Shtern (Minsk, 1927–40). He also wrote parodies and translated Russian and Belorussian poets. His own lyrics gained much appreciation, and two collections of his poetry appeared in Russian (1937, 1939). Some Soviet Jewish critics, however, complained of his continued attachment to existential themes. In 1939 Axelrod went from Minsk to Bialystok and Vilna in the newly occupied Soviet territories to meet with refugee Jewish writers from Poland. After his return, he was arrested in June 1941 and executed shortly before German troops occupied Minsk. He published Tsapl ("Quiver," 1922); Lider ("Poems," 1932); Un Vider Lider ("And More Poems," 1935); Oyg oyf Oyg ("Eye-to-Eye," 1937), Roytarmeyishe Lider ("Red Army Poems," 1939). A selection of his poems, Lider, with an introduction by Nakhman Mayzl, was published in New York (1961). In Moscow a collection of his poems in Russian translation by the poet Elena Axelrod (1963) and a volume in Yiddish, Lider (1980), were published.


lnyl, 1 (1956), 159–60; Pismeniki Sovetskoy Belorusi (1959), 31–32. add. bibliography: R. Rubin, in: Sovetish Heymland, 1 (1963), 105–9; Ch. Shmeruk (ed.), A Shpigl oyf a Shteyn (1964, 19872), 767–70.

[Elias Schulman]