Dr. M. J. Olgin
(Moshe Yosef Novomisky)
Born on 24 March 1878 in a
village of Kiev Gubernia, Uman kreyz, Ukraine. Father --
a manager in forests, earlier in Kiev Gubernia,
afterwards in Volin, a Jew and a scholar, but caught up
in Haskalah, had educated his son in Tenach and Gemora,
but also didn't stop him from learning Russian and gave
him access to Hebrew Haskalah books, and even to Yiddish
At the age of fifteen, O.
left his home and for several years and geknelt
in villages with yishuvnikes, later settling in
Rogachev, Volin Gubernia, where he was given to study.
In 1900 he entered into the Jewish facultat of the Kiev
university, becoming enlisted in the student and
revolutionary movement. In January 1901, together with
several hundred students gave themselves as soldiers to
participate in student unrest, published then his first
feder-pruv -- a proclamation in Russian to the
students. After amnesty, he was again associated with
the student movement and at the same time with the
Jewish revolutionary student group which originated in
the "Bund". Since 1903 he was only connected with the
Jewish Labor Movement, April 1903 he was arrested due to
the preparations for a Jewish zelbstshuts, became
an activist in the "Bund" as an agitator and writer. At
the end of 1906 he left Russia due to a poor state of
health, studied in 1907 in Heidelberg social science and
philosophy, and became a correspondent for New York's
"Forward". In 1918 he received the title of Doctor in
Columbia University with the right to take a professor
catedre in American universities.
In 1920 he visited Germany,
France and Russia, and when he returned to America, that
O. influenced, that the Jewish political group may have
left the Right Socialist Party for America, and when the
group united with the American communists, building the
"Workers Party", O. was one of the leaders of her Jewish
section and was co-editor, for a certain time also the
sole editor, of the daily Yiddish communist newspaper
"Di frayhayt" (since March 1928 again the editor), and
editor of the communist monthly journal "Der hamer".
O. translated Yuskevitch's
play "Der kenig" (publishing house "Di velt", Warsaw),
Andreyev's "Kenig-hunger" (a production in five scenes
with a prologue, publishing house Mayzel and Co., New
York, 1910), and Tolstoy's "Leberiker ms" (printed in
the "Forward"), had written very many articles and
critiques about Yiddish theatre in the "Forward", "Di
naye velt" and in the "Frayhayt".
In 1927 there was staged by
the Yiddish Art Theatre his drama, "Ir farbrekhn".
O. wrote a grotesque, "7
yarn in gn-edn (Seven Years in Paradise)" (printed in the kropive
department of the "Frayhayt" at the end of 1928), and a
dramatization for a ballet per Sholem Aleichem "L"g
Zalmen Reyzen --- "Lexicon
of Yiddish Literature", Vol. I, pp. 92-7.
hamer", N. Y., 9, 1927.