Koenig, Leo

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KOENIG, LEO (pseudonym of Arye-Leyb Yaffe ; 1889–1970), Yiddish critic and journalist. Raised in Odessa, Koenig published his first story at age 16: "Der Ekstern" ("The Extern") in Der Veg. He studied art in Jerusalem (at the Bezalel School, 1907–10), where he also wrote stories under the name Arye Yaffe, and in Munich (1910–12) and Paris (1912–14), where he was close to Marc *Chagall and, under the name Leo Koenig, wrote art criticism for leading Yiddish periodicals – the first serious work of this kind in Yiddish. From 1914 to 1952, in which year he settled in Haifa, Koenig lived in London, working for the Yiddish press in England and abroad. In 1920 he edited Anglo-Yiddish literary journals. In Israel he was a frequent contributor to the newspaper Davar. Only a fraction of his writing has appeared in book form: Shrayber un Verk ("Writers and Works," 1929); Vu Haltn Mir in der Velt ("Where Are We in the World," 1933); A Vokh nokhn Lebn (A Week After Life, trans. Joseph Leftwich, 1934); Geto oder Melukhe ("Ghetto or State," 1939); Folk un Literatur ("Folk and Literature," 1947); and Dos Bukh fun Lesterungen ("The Book of Blasphemies," 1948).


Rejzen, Leksikon, 3 (1929), 710–4; A. Shaanan, Millon ha-Sifrut ha-hadashah ve-ha-Kelalit (1959), 726. add. bibliography: lnyl, 8 (1981), 230–32; J. Glatstein, In Tokh Genumen, 2 (1960), 105–11.

[Leonard Prager]