Gottlieb, Hinko

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GOTTLIEB, HINKO (1886–1948), Yugoslav author, translator, and Zionist leader. Born in a Croatian village, Gottlieb made his name as a Zionist poet and writer on Jewish themes while he was still a student in Zagreb. After graduating, he divided his activity between law practice and literary pursuits. His verse, which combined imagination and realism, reflected contemporary events and his whole output testified to his strong Jewish loyalties and his anti-Nazi sentiments. A prominent contributor to most Jewish publications in Yugoslavia between the world wars, Gottlieb founded the Jewish monthly Ommanut, which he edited from 1936 until 1941. He published Serbo-Croat translations of German, Yiddish, and Hebrew works, the latter for an anthology of modern Hebrew literature (1933), as well as translations from Heine (1936). A collection of his poems Ijar, jevrejski maj ("Iyyar, the Jewish May") appeared in 1935. As a lawyer, Gottlieb often defended Yugoslav communists and had contacts with Josip Broz, the World War ii partisan leader who became President Tito. Following the Nazi invasion in 1941, Gottlieb was arrested and imprisoned in Vienna and then in Zagreb. He managed to escape and joined Tito's forces. In 1944 he was sent to Bari, Italy, where he organized the rescue of 1,500 Croatian Jews. In the following year he left Europe for Ereẓ Israel, where he completed and revised his stories of the Holocaust period. These later works include Ključ od velikih vrata (The Key to the Great Gate, 1947), a novel which later appeared in Hebrew (1950); and the short story Kadiš u šumi ("Kaddish in the Forest," 1944), which has been acclaimed as one of the outstanding products of Jewish underground literature.


S. Radej, in: Jevrejski Almanah 1954; V. Dedijer, Josip Broz Tito (1953); C. Rotem, in: Jevrejski Almanah 1957/8; idem, in: Davar (June 14, 1945 and Oct. 31, 1958). add. bibliography: C. Rotem, "Hinko Gottlieb: Works," 2 vols. (Heb., 1980).

[Zdenko Lowenthal /

Cvi Rotem]