Kalmanovitch, Zelig

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KALMANOVITCH, ZELIG (1881–1944), Yiddish writer, philologist, and translator. Born in Goldingen, Latvia, in 1929, he settled in Vilna, where he joined the *yivo Institute and became editor of its journal yivo Bleter. Kalmanovitch published studies on Yiddish philology, the influence of Hebrew on Yiddish syntax (1906, 1907), and on the Yiddish dialect spoken in Courland (1926). He translated into Yiddish Josephus' Jewish Wars (1914), Dubnow's History of the Jews (1909–10), and H.G. Wells' Outline of History (1930). During the Nazi occupation he was forced to select the books to be shipped to Germany. In the Vilna ghetto Kalmanovitch kept a diary in Hebrew. It is written in a spirit of resignation; he expresses the hope that, by carrying out the orders of the Nazis, some lives might be spared. With the liquidation of the Vilna ghetto in September 1943, he was deported to an extermination camp in Estonia where he died the following winter. His ghetto diary was published in an English translation in the yivo Annual of Jewish Social Science, 8 (1951) and in a Yiddish translation in the yivo Bleter, 35 (1951) and New Series, 3 (1997), 43–113.


Rejzen, Leksikon, 3 (1929), 693–6; S. Kaczerginski, Khurbn Vilne (1947), 208–10: M. Dworzecki, Yerushalayim de-Lita in Kamf un Umkum (1948). add. bibliography: Y. Mark, in: Di Goldene Keyt, 93 (1977), 127–43.

[Elias Schulman /

Gennady Estraikh (2nd ed.)]