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June 07, 1968 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-06-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Friday, June 7, 1968-5

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Encyclopedic 'Yiddish Literature'
History Written by Charles Madison

Former Detroiter Charles Madi-
son, author of a number of import-
ant volumes on the history of the
labor movement and biographical
sketches of eminent labor leaders,
is the author of an important new
historical analysis dealing with
Yiddish.
He is "Yiddish Literature: Its
Scope and Major Writers" will be
published July 5 by Frederick Un-
ger Publishing Co. (250 Park . S.,
N.Y. 3).
A noted authrity on literary de-
velopments, a lifelong student of
Yiddish literature who had made
the acquaintance of many Yiddish
writers, Madison provides the an-

CHARLES MADISON

swer to many questions posed in
relation to Yiddish. On the ques-
tion whether Yiddish is really dy-
ing, his answer is:
"With the roots of Yiddish as
a language and a literature olivi-
ously, perhaps inevitably, drying
up in the diaspora, its chance
of survival as a living linguistic
expression of the Jews depends
on its likely germination in Is-
rael. And of that only time can
tell."
Madison, who until his retire-
ment two years ago was one of the
editors first of Henry Holt and
Co. and later of Holt, Rinehart
and Winston, traces the history of
Yiddish and its literature to. the
10th Century.

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Page 1)
A delegation presented the Peti-
tion to Ambassador Jerzy Micha-
lowski at the Polish Embassy here.
Others who signed the petition in-
cluded Prof. Simon Kuznets, of
Harvard, Pulitzer Prize winning
writers, Bernard Malamud and Jus-
tin Kaplan; William Alfred, the
playwright; I. F. Stone, editor of
the I. F. Stone Weekly; and mem-
bers of the faculties of Harvard,
Brandeis, University of Massachu-
setts, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, B o s ton University,
Wellesley . College and University
of Califoithia.
The petition notes that the under-
signed "have been watching with
growing dismay, the thinly dis-
guised anti-Semitic campaign pur-
sued in recent weeks by certain
elements of the Polish government
and press." It said that "the for-
eign policy of Poland and its rela-
tions with the State of Israel are
a matter for Poland alone to de-
cide." But, it added, "world opinion
cannot remain silent when the
memory of 3,000,000 Polish Jews
who perished in Poland during
World War II is insulted, and the
dignity and security of the small
remnant of this community is jeo-
pardized for the sake of political
expedience."

for Jewish children in Poland were
not made this year after the Polish
education ministry withdrew ap-
proval for such camps, it was re-
ported here from Warsaw.
In prior years, the summer per-
iod was used for rest, recreation
and instruction in Jewish history
and other fields to fill gaps in the
Two staff members who were
regular school programs. The edu-
offered the job declined, and the cation ministry reportedly assert-
paper is now being run collective- ed that the camp programs foster-
ly by the staff with "guidance" ed affinities with "foreign coun-
from higher up. The "guidance"
tries" and "alien ideas."
consists of filling its columns with
communiques of the official Polish
Press Agency (PAP) which are
translated into Yiddish. But there
is no editorial comment, and the
more
paper's standards have declined
appreciably, according to the re-
clients.
ports.
.•

According to reports from War-
saw, the Folkstimme's editor,
Hersh Smolar, was removed from
his post by the Jewish Social and
Cultural Association, which pub-
lishes the paper, on orders from
authorities. But the association was
unable to find a new editor.

Frederick Madison states that
10th Century Jews, engaged in
commerce, viticulture, and fin-
ance, "spoke Middle-High-German
with a mild admixture of Hebrew.
A number carried on trade with
Jewish merchants in distant coun-
tries," thereby bringing the lan-
guage to Jewish communities
throughout what was then the
Western world. The Crusades, be-
ginning in 1095, gave impetius to
the development of Yiddish as a
language distant from German.
Wrote Madison:
"Inspired by bigots and fanatics
and t e m p t e d by acquisistion
through pillage, Crusaders fell up-
on these hapless Jews with club
and sword—killing, maiming, rob-
It was also reported that the
bing, raping. In some towns these
Folkstimme has stopped printing
`nonbelievers' were offer e d a
news from Israel and other Jewish
choice of the Cross or expulsion.
communities abroad, which it had
Migration from town to town, from
been doing for 20 years. The only
principality to principality, saved
Jewish news appearing now covers
the remnant from extinction. Dur-
activities of Communist front
ing the next few centuries, de-
groups.
prived of their early rights and
Arrangements for summer camps
privileges and forced to limit their
activities to money-lending and
petty trade, Jews were again and
compelled to flee from their homes
again compelled to flee from their
homes to save their lives. Moving
mostly eastward, they presumably
The petition pointed out that
mingled with Jews driven westward "such appeals to the basest in-
by Muscovite oppressors. As a •re- stincts of the most ignorant ele-
pamper him if you must ... but
suit of these frequent hegiras the ments of society have been in the
do it right with a gift from us.
language of the Jews in Central Eu- past the classical method employ-
rope gradually changed from
ed by discredited reactionary gov-
Middle-High-Germany into a dis-
SLACKS
ernments!'
tinctly- different dialect, based on
It seems to us outrageous," it
the original tongue but modified
added, "that a socialist govern-
in locution and idiom."
SHIRTS
Madison continues to trace the ment should resort to methods
typical
of
reactionary
regimes.
We
history and development of Yid-
dish: its popularity in Russia, its urge the Polish government to re-
PAJAMAS
importance in the United States, pudiate unequivocally all anti-

Semitism,
including
that
disguised
and its current resurgence in Is-
as anti-Zionism."
rael.
SOCKS
But as the Jews of Europe con-
The City Council of Los Angeles
tinue to diminish in number, so has passed a resolution condemn-
does the use of the language there. ing Polish anti-Semitism.
Also, as anti-Semitism wanes, so
The resolution noted that the
does the use of Yiddish among
Warsaw regime has "undertaken
Jews in the United States, where it
ROBES
is hardly spoken by the second-and a campaign of anti-Semitism, trans-

parently
disguised
as
anti-Zionism,

third-generation descendants of
iiiimigrants. While immigrants in and by such measures as dismis-
AND LOTS MORE !
Israel speak Yiddish, their chil- sing Jewish government officials,
workers,
college
professors
and
in-
dren are learning and speaking
NEHRU STYLES NOW JUST ARRIVED !
Hebrew in their everyday lives. tellectuals from their positions, has
This it would appear that, after once again attempted to make the
Formal Wear and Rentals
a colorful and turbent history of a Jewish people of Poland scape-
thousand years, Yiddish will soon goats in the government's prob-
Complete
Accessories for All Occasions
be laid to rest altongside Latin, lems."
In London, it was reported
Aramaic, and other languages,
MEL SEFFIN GER
which, while used ritualistically,
that Polish. authorities have in
are used for little else. (Two of
effect taken over control of the
the most sacred prayers in the Jew-
Warsaw Yiddish daily, Folk-
ish litiny, the Kol Nidre which
begins the Yom Kippur services,
stimme, which has been without
APPAREL FOR GENTLEMEN & YOUNG MEN
and the Kaddish — are in Aramic.)
an editor since the official anti-
25246 Greenfield North of 10 Mile Rd
But if Yiddish is indeed dying, . Jewish campaign began in Pol-
542-8636
Greenfield Center
it leaves behind a rich legacy. A
SECURITY • MICHIGAN BANKARD • DINERS CLUB
and several months ago.
number of Yiddish words are sol-
idly entrenched in the Ainerican
idiom — kibitz, hutzpa, shlep,
shmo (a euphemism for a Yid-
dish vulgarism), shamus, kvetch,
and shtik, are just a few of the
words heard in the everyday
speech of the "in" crowd.
More important, however, is the
the cab drivers the school and bus
A. You ask the Pros
literary legacy of Yiddish. As Mad-
ison points out in "Yiddish litera-
drivers — the truckers who buy at UNION TIRE;
ture," such writers as Sholom
A. Ask the automotive people! UNION TIRE supplies GM Over-
Asch, Sholom Aleichem, I. L. Per-
seas, Ford Proving Grounds, all the car dealers;
utz, and Isaac Bashevis Singer, all
A. Ask the Municipalities—UNION TIRE has contracts with City
of whom wrote in Yiddish (Singer
of Detroit, City of Warren, City of Dearborn, etc., who have
still does), made significant con-
tributions to the world's store of
exacting requirements;
literature in general. In addition
A. Ask your friends! NUF SAID.
to the major writers, Madison also
covers many of the lesser-known
How can you be certain you've picked the right
SO .
ones. The work contains a number
tyre
before
you separate yourself from your money
of excerpts from writings, demon-
strating the "Yiddishe tam" (the
BUY AT UNION TIRE!
Yiddish "flavor") which comes
through so distinctly even in trans-
lation.

Let's make a fuss over Father on
Father's Day - June 16th

Q. HOW CAN YOU BE SURE YOU'VE PICKED THE BEST TYRE
BEFORE YOU PLUNK DOWN YOUR DOUGH ? ?
A. BUY WITH CONFIDENCE AT UNION TIRE ! WHY?



'

$49up

154 S. Woodward Ave.

(Continued from

211R. ROBERTS

'

Actually 139.99

BIRMINGHAM

55 ES. Scholars Press the Polish Govt.

NEVER, NEVER UNDERSOLD

Cuisine Differences
Cuisine of Sephardic and Ash-
kenazi communities differ. The
former use much olive oil, rice,
lamb, herbs and hot spices, while
Ashkenazim prefer beef and bland
vegetables flavored with fats, sugar
and onions.

UNION TIRE CO.

See

WHEEL ALIGNMENT SPECIALISTS
Boys
AL STUTZ and JOE STAMELL

the

The Up City Reps:
Jerry Stutz, U. of M., Ann Arbor
Sidney Stutz, Oakland U., Rochester
Genii Stutz, Roper, Bloomfield

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(Next to Carl's Chop Rouse)

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Phone 321-1234

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