Mastbaum, Joel

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MASTBAUM, JOEL (1882–1957), Yiddish short story writer and novelist. Born in Miedzyrzec, Poland, he lived in Warsaw from 1905, and from 1906 published extensively in the Yiddish press: feuilletons, short stories, folk tales, travel impressions, and chapters of novels. In 1933 he immigrated to Palestine and wrote stories about life there, collected in Yidn in Erets-Yisroel ("Jews in Palestine," 1935). Overtaken by World War ii while visiting Poland, he nonetheless managed to return to Tel Aviv and describe his 60 days under the Nazis. His short stories, which were collected in several volumes beginning in 1912, have a romantic tonality. His first novels, Fun Roytn Lebn ("Red Life," 2 vols., 1912), about the revolutionary youth of 1905, and Marita's Glik ("Marita's Fortune," 1919), about three Jewish generations in Poland, had several editions in Yiddish, and were translated into Hebrew. Nokhemkes Vanderungen ("The Wanderings of Nokhemke," 1925), an adventurous romance beginning in a Polish town and ending in Buenos Aires, was followed by Naye Mentshn ("New Men," 1926). From a projected trilogy of Palestine between 1933 and 1948 only the first volume, Der Koyekh fun der Erd ("The Power of the Earth," 1951), was published.


lnyl, 5 (1963), 464–7; S. Niger, Dray Doyres (1920), 263–73; M. Ravitch, Mayn Leksikon, 1 (1945), 128–30; 3 (1958), 254–5.; S. Bickel, Shrayber fun Mayn Dor, 2 (1965), 348–52. add. bibliography: Sh. Mastboym, Yoel Mastboym (1995).

[Melech Ravitch]