Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter
The New York Times reports on the death of Josef Burg, one of the last Yiddish authors in Eastern Europe, whose death on August 10, 2009, at 97, has just recently been widely reported in English.
Itzik Gottesman, associate editor of The Forward, says of Burg:
“Josef Burg was the last Yiddish writer from the generation before the Holocaust to remain in the Ukraine,” Mr. Gottesman said on Thursday, “and he valiantly strove to perpetuate Yiddish language and culture there.”
“His writings,” Mr. Gottesman continued, “capture the multifaceted, multicultural history of the Jews in the Bukovina region during most of the 20th century and reflect the unique journey of a Yiddish writer in a city with fewer and fewer Jews.” In an interview with The New York Times in 1992, Mr. Burg called himself “the last of the Mohicans of the great Yiddish tradition in Czernowitz” — referring to his city as it was known when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.
Burg’s works include:
1934: Oifn splaw
1939: Oifn tschermusch
1980: Dos leben geit waiter
1983: Iberuk fun tsajtn
1988: Ein Gesang über allen Gesängen. Erzählungen und Skizzen.
1990: A farschpetikter echo
1997: Zwej weltn
1997: Zewikelte stetschkes
2004: Sterne altern nicht
2005: Dämmerung. Erzählungen
2006: Mein Czernowitz
2006: Begegnungen – eine Karpatenreise
2007: Über jiddische Dichter. Erinnerungen
2008: Ein Stück trockenes Brot