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Fonds Joseph Gottfarstein (MDXL)

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2017.22.1 | RG Number: RG-43.162

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    Documents pertaining to the history of Joseph Gottfarstein family, include letters, writings, translations, correspondence, cards, workbooks, literary and scientific texts, and photographs.
    inclusive:  1930-1970
    Collection Creator
    Joseph Gottfarstein
    Yoysef Gottfarsteyn (Joseph Gottfarstein) (1903-1980), historian, philologist and author, was born in Pren (Prienai), Suwalk region, Lithuania. He studied in religious primary school, the Slobodka yeshiva, and in a Hebrew high school. He graduated from the Jewish teachers’ seminary in Kaunas and studied music in the local conservatory. At the end of 1923, he moved to Berlin where he studied at the university there. From 1926 he lived in Paris, where he was active in Jewish communal and cultural life. He was the director of a Jewish theatrical studio as well as an active leader of the federation of Jewish communities in Paris; he was also a lecturer in the people’s university. During the German occupation of France, he escaped to Switzerland. He began writing poems in Vispe (Islet) in Kaunas (1922-1925). He also published here fragments of a dramatic poem entitled “Farzeenish” (Monster) in which he expressed motifs of the human conflict between good and evil. He was a contributor to Yidishe teatraler tsaytshrift (Yiddish theater periodical) in Kaunas, and to the Yiddish daily press in Lithuania. He served as the Parisian correspondent for Di prese (The press) in Buenos Aires, and for Folksblat (People’s newspaper) in Kaunas. Aside from correspondence pieces, he also published articles about theater and art. He contributed to Unzer vort (Our word) and Kiem (Survival) in Paris, and after the death of Yisroel Efroykin, he became editor of the latter. There he published a number of chapters of his work “Legitimatsye fun yidishkeyt” (Legitimating Jewishness). In Shevivim (Sparks) 4 (Paris, 1955), he published portions of his Hebrew translation of his French volume on the essence of Jewish civilization. He was a contributor to and served on the editorial board (with Theodor Plievier) of a German-language journal (Berlin, 1924). He wrote stories, feature pieces, articles, and essays for German and French periodicals. He was the author of a German volume (Geneva, 1944) that he later translated into French as L’école du meurtre (School of death) (1946). This work was a kind of history of the German school up to the Hitler era. He translated into French a number of stories by Y. L. Peretz and chapters from Sefer hayetsira (The book of formation). His work on “Jewish folklore in Lithuania” appeared in the Jewish encyclopedia of Lithuania (published in Tel Aviv). He also wrote under the pen names: Y. G-n, Y. Kador, Y. Anshl, and Y. Malbin, among others.
    Sources: Y. Mark, in Zamlbukh, lekoved dem tsvey hundert un fuftsikstn yoyvl fun der yidisher prese 1686-1936 (Anthology in honor of the 250th jubilee of the Yiddish press, 1686-1936) (New York, 1937); Y. Trunk, in Tsukunft (New York) (April 1955); “Der lebediker,” in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (May 8, 1955).
    Posted by Joshua Fogel in the online yleksikon.blogspot

    Physical Details

    11,163 digital images : JPEG ; 8.48 GB .
    System of Arrangement
    Arranged in eight series: 1. Personal history; 2. Correspondence; 3. Jewish organizations; 4. Writings; 5. Translations; 6. Archives (archival sources collected by Joseph Gottfarstein); 7. Authors (a collection of literary and scientific texts by authors who have been in contact with Gottfarstein); 8. Research materials. Series are arranged in chronological order. The correspondence is organized in alphabetical order.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    This material can only be accessed in a Museum reading room or other on-campus viewing stations. No other access restrictions apply to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No publication of documents on the World Wide Web, Internet, etc., or reproduction of microfilm reels without the permission of the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine (CDJC). Cite the CDJC as holder of originals.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Topical Term
    World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities--Europe. World War, 1939-1945--Civilian relief--France. Jews--Persecutions--Europe--History--20th century. Concentration camps--Europe--History. Jews--Legal status, laws, etc.--France--History--20th century. Jewish authors--France--Biography. Mysticism--Judaism--History-20th century. Cabala in literature. Authors, Yiddish--Biography. Rabbinical literature--France--History and criticism. Jewish folklorists--Lithuania--History--20th century. Judaism--Liturgy--Texts. Jews--Liturgy and ritual--Hagadah. Hasidism--History--20th century. Jewish refugees--Europe--History--20thy century. Holocaust Jewish (1939-1945)--Europe--History. Research institutes Jewish committees (ushmm) Charity -- Associations, institutions, etc. Refugee -- Humanitarian assistance -- Associations, institutions, etc.

    Administrative Notes

    Source of acquisition is the Memorial to the Shoah, Jewish Contemporary Documentation Center (Mémorial de la Shoah, Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine), France. The collection Joseph Gottfarstein was donated to the Shoah Memorial in Paris in 2006 by his son Samuel Haim Gottfarstein. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the filmed collection via the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum International Archival Programs Division in February 2017.
    Record last modified:
    2024-01-05 13:30:37
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