David Bergelson

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Bergel’son, David Rafailovich


Born Aug. 12, 1884, in Okhrimovo, Lipovets District, Kiev Province; died Aug. 12, 1952. Soviet Jewish writer. Born into a well-to-do family.

Bergel’son began his literary career with the short story Around the Railroad Station (1909). His gift for refined psychological analysis was brilliantly manifested in the novel After Everything (1913), which has been translated into many Western European languages (Russian translation— Mirele, 1941). This novel presents a broad picture of the life of different strata of the Jewish bourgeoisie and shows the various fates of the Jewish intelligentsia. The novel Deviation (1920) shows people seeking their way in the complex world after the Revolution of 1905–07. In 1921, Bergel’son went abroad, lived in Berlin, and wrote for the Jewish democratic press. He returned to the USSR in 1929.

The theme of the legitimacy of the October Revolution and of the Civil War was expressed in the novel The Measure of Severity (1926–27) and in the collection of stories Stormy Days (1927). The novel On the Dnieper (1932–40; Russian translation of first edition, 1935) is a milestone in Soviet Jewish literature; it is an epic dealing with the life and struggle of the popular masses in the early 20th century that presents colorful portrayals of professional revolutionaries. The collection New Stories (1947) and others deal with the heroism of Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War. Bergel’son also wrote the historical play Prince Reubeini (1946), and the incompleted short story Aleksandr Barash (1946) about the restoration of the national economy in the 1920’s. Bergel’son’s style is characterized by lyrical emotionalism, masterful psychological detail, and strict economy of language.


Bam Dneper, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1947–48.
In Russian translation:
Mirele. Moscow, 1941.
Izbr. proizv. Moscow, 1947.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1957.
Na Dnepre, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1960.


Dobrushin, I. David Bergel’son. Moscow, 1947. Gurshtein, A. “Zametki o tvorchestve D. Bergel’sona.” In his book Izbr. stat’i. Moscow, 1959.
References in periodicals archive ?
Grossman portraits Yiddish writers like Scholem Aleichem, Pinkes Kahanovitsh ("Der Nister"), or David Bergelson, who, in their later works written in the United States, quite positively responded to German literary traditions, like the style or themes shaped by Heinrich Heine.
Russian Jewish emigres who wrote in Yiddish, of course, produced numerous works about the violence; among the key figures are Perets Markish and David Bergelson.
I consider the greatest master of Yiddish prose to be David Bergelson.
I wandered through the city's many used bookstores and bought comfort books: the newest work by Yoel Hoffmann, novels by David Bergelson and Jacob Glatstein.
The End of Everything, by David Bergelson, translation and introduction by Joseph Sherman.
The Israeli embassy helped him to excavate the first portion of truth about the tragic destiny of the JAC, whose leading members, such as Itsik Fefer and David Bergelson, were executed in August 1952.
That David Bergelson was killed, with many others, in the 1952 Stalinist purge of Yiddish writers.
This was especially appreciated as a number of Jewish writers, such as David Bergelson, had now settled in Birobidzhan, wrote GEZERD.
The End of Everything: A Novel, by David Bergelson, translated by Joseph Sherman.
Leading Soviet Yiddish writers David Bergelson, Itsik Fefer, and Peretz Mazrkish were among the members of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee who were executed in 1952 when Gennady (Yiddish studies, New York U.
Dafna Clifford examines the literary and theoretical writings produced by David Bergelson during his years of exile in Berlin.
Singer scholar of the first rank, and he also worked on bringing the writings and life of David Bergelson, the Yiddish writer murdered by Stalin's regime, to the attention of the general public.