Feinberg, Leon

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FEINBERG, LEON (Yehude-Arye-Leyb / Leonid Grebniov ; 1897–1969), Yiddish journalist, novelist, and poet. Born in Kodyma (Ukraine), he studied at the University of Moscow, fought as a Red Guard in the Civil War, immigrated to Palestine, and traveled the world as a sailor, before settling in the U.S. His first volume of Russian poetry (1914) was influenced by Symbolism. Although he continued writing in Russian (further volumes 1919, 1923, 1947), he also began writing in Yiddish. He was on the staff of the Yiddish daily Frayhayt, and the monthly Der Hamer. A feature writer (and later city editor) for Der Tog, he served as president of the New York Yiddish PEN Club. His fifteen novels include the verse novels Der Farmishpeter Dor ("The Condemned Generation," 1954) and Der Gebentshter Dor ("The Blessed Generation," 1962) which depict the lives of two generations of Jews who were caught in the net of the Russian Revolution but succeeded in immigrating to America and Palestine. Der Khorever Dor ("The Ruined Generation," 1967) describes the lives of those who remained in Russia and faced the realities of Soviet life. English translations of his work are to be found in J. Leftwich, The Golden Peacock (1940), and J.B. Cooperman, America in Yiddish Poetry (1967).


Rejzen, Leksikon, 3 (1929), 57–60. add. bibliography: lnyl 7 (1968), 349–53; G.G. Branover (ed.), Rossiĭskaia evreĭskaia entsiklopediia, 3 (1997), 189–90; G. Estraikh, In Harness: Yiddish Writers' Romance with Communism (2005), 96–8.

[Israel Ch. Biletzky /

Jerold C. Frakes (2nd ed.)]