Haim Beyder

Haim Beyder

Soviet writer and journalist
Date of Birth: 20.04.1920
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Khaim Beyder
  2. Early Career and Literary Contributions
  3. Challenges and Achievements
  4. Later Years and Legacy

Biography of Khaim Beyder

Khaim Beyder was a Soviet writer and journalist, as well as one of the leading scholars of Yiddish culture in the Soviet Union. He was born in 1918 in a small town in Ukraine. In 1933, he completed his education at a local Jewish school and the following year became a student at the Odessa Jewish Pedagogical Technical College. He then transferred to the final year of the Zhytomyr Jewish Pedagogical Work Faculty.

Haim Beyder

Early Career and Literary Contributions

It was in 1933 that Khaim Beyder made his debut as a poet, with a poem published in the central Jewish children's newspaper "Zay grayt!" in Kharkiv. He went on to have his works published in various newspapers and journals, including "Yunge gvardye," "Der shtern," "Der emes," the almanac "Sovetish" in Moscow, the newspaper "Eynikayt" (the organ of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee), and other publications.

Haim Beyder

After completing his studies in 1936, Beyder enrolled in the Jewish department of the Odessa Pedagogical Institute's Philology Faculty. While living in Ukraine, he published several research papers on the history of Ukrainian and Russian literature. From the mid-1970s onwards, he focused on researching the history of Jewish classical and Soviet literature. Beyder also worked as a journalist for newspapers in Ukraine and Turkmenistan, and for several years, he was a part of the newspaper "Birobidzhaner shtern."

Challenges and Achievements

During the notorious "struggle against cosmopolitanism," Khaim Beyder faced a trial by the party committee. After the trial, he overnight turned grey, a visible sign of the stress and pressure he experienced. In 1973, he moved to Moscow and began working at the magazine "Sovetish gaymland," initially as the head of a department, and later as the deputy editor-in-chief. In 1991, due to illness, he retired from his position.

Beyder's office on Kirova Street, 17, was always cluttered with old books and manuscripts from authors of the only Yiddish-language journal in the USSR. He was a true guardian of Jewish culture and national memory, and he knew hundreds of biographies of Jewish writers by heart, many of whom were his teachers and friends. Khaim Beyder served as a scientific consultant and authored about 1000 articles about Jewish writers in the Russian Jewish Encyclopedia. He was a member of the Writers' Union of Russia and was recognized as a distinguished worker of culture in Russia (1981). He was also awarded the Atran Literary Prize by the World Congress of Jewish Culture in New York (1991), and the prestigious David Hofstein Literary Prize in Tel Aviv (2000).

Later Years and Legacy

In addition to his scholarly and journalistic work, Khaim Beyder published several poetry collections. In 1982, he collaborated with a group of authors to release the first post-war Jewish primer in the USSR. Ten years later, he published a Yiddish textbook for beginners. In 1996, Beyder moved to New York, where he continued to write and publish extensively in Yiddish and Russian. He became the editor of the oldest Jewish literary and artistic magazine, "Di tsukunft."

Khaim Beyder's contributions to Yiddish culture and literature are widely recognized. He dedicated his life to preserving Jewish culture and knowledge, leaving behind a lasting legacy in the field of Yiddish studies and literature.