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Two Leading Yiddish Poets “rehabilitated” Posthumously in Moscow

Peretz Markish and Itzik Feffer, two of Soviet Russia’s outstanding Yiddish writers, who disappeared in 1948 and were apparently executed, have been posthumously rehabilitated in the pages of “Literaturnaya Gazeta,” Russia’s leading literary journal.

The Soviet magazine prints in its current issue six of Markish’s poems translated into Russian, and a preface to his work which lauded Feffer as the discoverer of Markish’s talent While nothing definite was stated as to their disappearance and death, the practice of giving favorable publicity is considered in Russia as a means of clearing persons who have been disgraced.

The six poems were highly praised in a foreword by Nikolai Tikhonov, a leading Soviet poet, as having “poetic force and genuine-high emotion.” The poems, he said, were marked by “great characters, civic inspiration and strong intonation.” Tikhonov also reminisced about conversations held with Markish in the last years of World War II Both Feffer and Markish were arrested by the secret police in the last years of Stalin’s reign. There has never been any public confirmation of their execution.

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