Domalsky, I

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DOMALSKY, I. (Mikhail Davidovich Baytalsky ; 1903–1978), Russian poet and publicist. Domalsky was born in the village of Chernovo in Odessa province. He participated in the Civil War and was a Komsomol (Communist Youth League) activist in the Ukraine. Together with M. Elko, he wrote the popular song "Po moryam – po volnam" ("Over the Seas – Over the Waves"). In the 1920s he worked as a journalist for newspapers in Kharkov and the Donbass. In 1930 he moved from the Donbass to Moscow where he worked on the staff of the newspapers Vechernyaya Moskva and Izvestia. Accused of Trotskyism, he was arrested and served two terms in forced labor camps in Vorkuta (1936–41 and 1950–56). He was a soldier in World War ii and after his demobilization he worked as a metalworker in Eysk. While imprisoned Domalsky began to write poetry (c. from 1951) in which he expressed his passionate longing for Israel. The poems were smuggled out of the U.S.S.R. and published in Israel under the pseudonym D. Seter (Hebrew for "hidden") with parallel Hebrew translation. The book of poems was edited by Avraham Shlonsky and Moshe Sharett under the title Pridet vesna moya ("My Spring Will Come," 1962, 1975).

In 1956 Domalsky was rehabilitated. He then moved to Nal'chik where he began to write his memoirs, chapters of which appeared in Moscow in the samizdat (self-publishing) journal Evrei v SSSR ("Jews in the Soviet Union," 17, 1979) and in Israel in the journals Vremya i my ("Time and We," 11, 1978) and 22 (5, 1979).

In 1970 Domalsky moved to Moscow where, under various pseudonyms, he was actively involved both in the general democratic and Jewish samizdats. In 1975 his book Russkie yevrei vchera i segodnya ("Russian Jews Yesterday and Today") was published in Tel Aviv. In 1977 he wrote a sociological essay "Novoye v antisemitizme" ("What is New in Antisemitism?") which appeared in the collection Antisemitizm v Sovetskom Soyuze. Yego korni i posledstviya ("Antisemitism in the Soviet Union, its Roots and Consequences," Tel Aviv, 1979). In these publications Domalsky explained the mechanism of official Soviet antisemitism.

Domalsky died in Moscow. According to his wishes his remains were brought to Israel in 1979 and buried in kibbutz Gelil Yam near Herzliyyah.

[The Shorter Jewish Encylopaedia in Russian]