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Yiddish author Josef Burg dies in Ukraine

ROME (JTA) — The award-winning Yiddish author Josef Burg has died at the age of 97 in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

Burg died Monday of a stroke, according to Austria’s Theodor Kramer Society, which presented Burg with a literary award earlier this year.

Before World War I Chernivtsi, known as Czernowitz in German and Yiddish, was the capital of the Bucovina region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and a focal point of Yiddish language and literature. The region came under Romanian rule after World War I.

Born in 1912 in the nearby town of Vishnits, Burg lost his entire family in the Holocaust. He survived by fleeing to the Soviet Union. He published his first story in 1934 in the Yiddish newspaper Chernovitser Bleter. Romanian authorities banned the newspaper in 1938, but Burg revived it as a monthly in 1990.

He continued writing and publishing well into his 90s, receiving several awards such as Israel’s Segal Prize for Yiddish writing.

 

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