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Mark Razumny

RAZUMNY, MARK (1896–1988), Yiddish writer. Born in the shtetl of Zhager, he grew up in Riga, where he received a traditional Jewish and general secular education and became a Labor Zionist. In 1919, after brief service in the Red Army, he emigrated to Germany, living in Hamburg, where he worked at a bank and studied at the university. His first publication, a story in German, appeared in the Hamburg Israelitisches Familienblatt. In 1921 he returned to Riga and began to work for various Yiddish periodicals, some edited by his cousin, journalist Moshe-Mikhl Kitay (1886–194?). From 1924 he was a correspondent for the New York Forverts, and in January–March 1925, he edited the shortlived Riger Moment. In 1926–34 he worked for the democratic newspaper Frimorgn, cofounded by Kitay. Newspapers published his numerous travelogues, some of which later appeared in book form, e.g. Dos Land fun Toyznt Geshtaltn: a Rayze in Norvegye ("The Country of a Thousand Images: A Trip to Norway," 1929) and Eyner Tsvishn Milyonen: fun an Amerikaner Nesie ("Alone among Millions: From an American Trip," 1931). He was a prolific translator from German and Russian. From 1937 until World War II, he edited the popular magazine Yidishe Bilder ("Jewish Pictures"). When Riga became the capital of Soviet Latvia, Razumny became secretary of the Jewish Cultural Society and wrote for the newspaper Kamf and the journal Ufboy. After World War II he continued to write short stories and fables, which appeared in the Warsaw-based Yidishe Shriftn and Folks-shtime, and after 1961 the Moscow journal Sovetish Heymland and its affiliated book publications. Among his other books are Hintergeslekh ("Backalleys," 1929), Breyter di Trit ("Longer Steps," 1975), and A Velt mit Vunder ("A World of Wonders," 1986; German tr. 1985).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.