Charney, Daniel

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CHARNEY, DANIEL (1888–1959), Yiddish autobiographer, poet and journalist; brother of Samuel *Niger (Charney) and Baruch Charney *Vladeck. Born in the shtetl of Dukor, near Minsk, Charney suffered from illness from his early childhood, a theme presented in his literary work, particularly in his various memoirs. Following his poetic debut in 1907, he spent his early years in journalism and in welfare work, especially during World War i. In 1918–24 he was a central figure in Moscow Yiddish literary circles. At the end of 1925 he immigrated to the U.S. but was refused entrance because of his ill health and returned to Europe. He assisted David *Bergelson in 1926 in Berlin with his pro-Soviet periodical, In Shpan, and from 1927–29 edited the Yidishe Emigratsye along with Elias *Tcherikower. After a long trip in 1929 to outlying Jewish communities in Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland he published a series of articles in the New York Yiddish daily Der Tog and other American and European Yiddish periodicals on the conditions of Jews there. Leaving Germany at the rise of Nazism, he lived in Paris until 1941, when he gained permission to enter the U.S. and settled in New York. He was appointed secretary of the I.L. Peretz Writers' Club (1944). Though confined to sanatoriums for long periods, he continued his literary work. His stories, poems, fables, and articles were printed in Yiddish newspapers all over the world. Among his most important works are Barg Aroyf ("Uphill," 1935) and his memoirs A Yortsendling Aza: 1914–24 ("A Decade Like This," 1943).


M. Shalit (ed.), Daniel Charney-Bukh (1939), includes bibliography; lnyl, 4 (1961), 142–6. add. bibliography: G. Estraikh, In Harness: Yiddish Writers' Romance with Communism (2005).

[Shlomo Bickel /

Gennady Estraikh (2nd ed.)]