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WINTER 2022-23

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70TH Anniversary of the Night of the Murdered Poets


David Hofshteyn (1889–1952)

Hofshteyn was born in Korostyshev, not far from Kiev. His father, a forester, was a partisan of the Jewish Enlightenment, known as the Haskaleh, which was centrally concerned with Jews’ political status and their relationship to European culture. His mother came from the Pedotser-Kholodenko family of klezmer celebrities. Hofshteyn was credited with having moved Yiddish poetry forward into Modernism, was called “the first Yiddish classic,” having with a few other Kiev poets found a “shortcut” to modern creativity. An activist of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (JAC) from 1942, he was the first of its leaders to be imprisoned for “anti-Soviet activities” in September 1948.