Fininberg, Ezra

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FININBERG, EZRA (1889–1946), Soviet Yiddish poet. Ukrainian-born Fininberg made his literary debut in 1920, when his first poems were published in a Kiev Yiddish daily. His first volume of poems, Otem ("Breath," 1922), attracted immediate attention, and his second, Lider ("Poems," 1925), strengthened his position as one of the most popular Soviet Yiddish poets. While his early poems expressed a great deal of Jewish feeling and an appreciation of Jewish values, he later closely adhered to the Communist Party line. In his play Yungen ("Youngsters"), produced in Kharkov in 1927, he dramatized a number of important events of the Russian revolutionary movement; in his book Galop ("Gallop," 1926) he described the civil war in the Ukraine. Jewish themes recurred in his World War ii poems, which were also filled with patriotism. In 1926–27 Fininberg belonged to the Boy ("Construction") literary group, which was later accused of Trotskyism. At a conference of the Yiddish writers of the Ukraine held in Kharkov in April 1931, this group was denounced and Fininberg alleged his ignorance of its having been organized by Trotskyites. He died in Moscow of wounds received in World War ii. Amongthe major literary works which Fininberg translated into Yiddish are Victor Hugo's The Year '93 and Goethe's Faust. His own works include Fun Shlakht-feld ("From the Battlefield," 1943); In Rizikn Fayer ("In the Great Fire"); Geklibene Lider ("Selected Poems," 1948).


Rejzen, Leksikon, 3 (1929), 75–78; E. Schulman, The Fate of Soviet Jewry (New York, 1959), 19ff. add. bibliography: A. Vergelis, in: Sovetish Heymland, 12 (1969), 6–12; N. Oislender, in: Sovetish Heymland, 2 (1981), 119–33.

[Elias Schulman]