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Sternberg, Jacob

STERNBERG, JACOB

STERNBERG, JACOB (1890–1973), Yiddish editor, poet, and dramatist. Born in Lipkany, Moldova (former Bessarabia), Sternberg attended a Russian secondary school in Kamenets-Podolski. In 1908 he began publishing poetry and short stories in the Yiddish press, and in 1911 the Odessa daily Gut Morgn printed his translation of Ḥ.N. *Bialik's popular poem "Hakhnisini Taḥat Kenafekh" ("Take Me under Your Wings"). In 1914 he settled in Romania and wrote and produced nine short plays and satiric dramatic revues for the Yiddish theater in Bucharest in collaboration with Jacob *Botoshansky (1917–18). He directed the Vilna Troupe during its extended stay there (1924–26), staging plays by I.L. *Peretz, *Sholem Aleichem, Osip *Dymov, and Gogol. Between 1920 and 1930 he also edited several short-lived Yiddish periodicals. In 1935 he collected his lyrics and grotesques in the volume Shtot in Profil ("City in Outline"). In 1940 Sternberg moved to Bessarabia but soon fled from the Nazis to Uzbekistan. In 1945 he returned to direct the Yiddish theater of Kishinev, capital of the Soviet Moldavian Republic. Sternberg was a member of the *Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in Moscow, and was thus arrested in 1948 and spent five years in a Siberian labor camp. His reputation was rehabilitated after the death of Stalin, and a collection of his poems was published in 1959 in Russian translation. After 1961 his Yiddish essays and critical articles were frequently printed in Sovetish Heymland, of whose editorial board he was a member. A volume of his collected poetry In Krayz fun Yorn ("In the Circle of the Years") appeared in Bucharest (1970), and his collected essays in Tel Aviv (1987); a selection of his lyrics in Hebrew translation appeared in 1967.

bibliography:

Rejzen, Leksikon, 4 (1929), 628–31; S. Bickel, Rumenye (1961), 235–53. add. bibliography: lnyl, 8 (1981), 649–52; A. Spiegelblatt, in: Di Goldene Keyt, 73 (1971), 200–11; W. Tambur, in: Bukareshter Shriftn, 8 (1985), 5–15.

[Sol Liptzin]

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