Moscow: Der Emes, 1937. Item #772
52 pp.: ill. 21x14 cm. In original illustrated wrappers, Yiddish and Russian titled on the front and back covers. Very good. Small tears of the wrappers, pale stains on some margins, previous owner’s bookplate on the recto of the front cover.
First edition. One of 5000 copies. Very rare. Translated into Yiddish by M. Fishman.
According to the 1897 census, 97% of the Jews of the Russian Empire called Yiddish their native tongue, after the revolution it was the official language of the “Jewish working masses” and was recognized as the language of general education and office work in the Soviet republics. In the 1920s-1930s, Soviet authorities made efforts to encourage «Soviet proletarian culture» in Yiddish as a countermeasure against the traditional Jewish «bourgeoisie» or «shtetl» culture.
Pushkin’s works were first translated into Hebrew in 1847 and had been actively adapted into both Jewish languages since the late 19th century. Still the prevailing number of simulations of Russian classics in Yiddish editions occurred in the early years of the Soviet Union. In 1918, the poem ‘Poltava’ was translated by A.I. Grodzenskii (1891-1941) to Yiddish and the next year he published ‘Eugene Onegin’ in Yiddish as well. Soon all Pushkin’s major works were adapted into Yiddish by Soviet translators and kept publishing until 1940. In 1948-1953, anti-semitism became a state policy and was preserved in some aspects even later. Since 1940, Pushkin’s works weren’t published in Yiddish in the USSR, excluding one little edition of ‘The Captain’s Daughter’ printed at the place of the former Berdichev ghetto in 1957.
This children’s book was printed by ‘Der Emes’ in memory of the 100th anniversary of the poet’s death. This Soviet publishing house operated in Moscow from the early 1920s till 1948. The main focus was on fiction in Yiddish and translations into this language. After its shutdown, the director, chief editor and a few other employees of ‘Der Emes’ were arrested.
Worldcat locates the only paper copy in Yivo Institute for Jewish Research.
Price: $350.00Status: On Hold