The People of the Book inthe World of Books isaRussian bimonthly publication for serious readers with Jewish interests. Our English website includes only thesummaries of thepublished articles. Toaccess the complete text of them, please visit the Russian version of this website.


February 2018

This issue of the magazine includes:

• History: On the First Yiddish Edition of Taras Shevchenko’s Works

Soviet Ukraine celebrated the 120th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko (1814–1861), the poet considered the founder of modern Ukrainian literature, in 1934. In the event, the Institute for Jewish Proletarian Culture in Kiev endeavored to publish Shevchenko’s selected works in Yiddish translation. The book’s plight was genuinely tragic. After it was printed, the entire print run was confiscated by censors due to “political errors” in certain supplementary texts. The editors, Yiddish literary scholars Maks Erik (1898–1937) and Mikhl Levitan (1881–1937?), were arrested in 1936 and died in the Gulag. Another edition of almost the same book was published in late 1936, with poet Itzik Fefer serving as editor. Soon, however, the authors of the book’s introductory articles, Ukrainian politicians Andriy Khvylia and Volodymyr Zatonsky, were arrested and executed. Books containing their names, including the Yiddish edition of Shevchenko’s works, were withdrawn from public libraries all over Ukraine or loaned to readers with the offending pages excised. The article provides a detailed account of this ill-starred book’s history based on documents recently discovered in Kiev archives and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York.

Review: A Refugee’s Plight through a Child’s Eyes

The article discusses When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, a semi-autobiographical novel by British children’s writer Judith Kerr, now published in Russian translation. The reviewer argues the novel is even more important than when it was originally published in 1971, because Kerr focuses on the very timely topic of refugees.

Looking through Russian Literary Magazines: Novels and Articles of Jewish Interest

Jewish Calendar of Significant Dates: March–April 2018

Bibliography: Fifteen New Books