Rossin, Samuel

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ROSSIN, SAMUEL (1890–1941), Soviet Yiddish writer. Born in Shumyachi, Smolensk, Rossin began his career with Bobe Mayses ("Fairy Tales," 1919), versified fairy tales for children, which were specifically Jewish in atmosphere and imagery. There followed poetry, stories, and a drama. His love poems, Farlibterhayt ("In Love," 1938), expressions of individual longing and fulfillment, eschewed social protest. Upbraided for composing melancholy, individualistic works in a collectivist, progressive society, he replied that a poet could not compel his heart to march in step like a soldier. In his last lyrics, Lider Vegn Tatn ("Poems about Father," 1939), his father, who died when the poet was thirteen, becomes the symbol of all Jewish fathers: restless, joyless, careworn, wandering with a pack on his back, barely eking out a living. Although past fifty when the Germans invaded Russia, he enlisted in the Soviet army and was among the early war casualties.


Rejzen, Leksikon, 4 (1929), 215f. add. bibliography: A. Kushnirov, in: Heymland, 2 (1947), 144–49; B. Mogilner (ed.), Lirik (1983).

[Sol Liptzin]