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Chaim Siemiatycki

SIEMIATYCKI, CHAIM (Semyatitski; pseudonyms: Khaym Tiktiner; Khayml; 1908–1943), Yiddish poet. Born in Tykocin (Tiktin), Poland, of a rabbinical family, the yeshivah-trained Siemiatycki, who lost his father at a young age, went to Warsaw in 1929 to work at odd jobs and to write rather than enter the rabbinate. Encouraged in his poetry from his yeshivah days by Hillel *Zeitlin, he contributed poems as well as critical notices on new Yiddish poets to the Warsaw dailies Moment and Haynt, and to other periodicals. He was soon recognized as one of the leading young Polish-Yiddish poets. In 1935 he published his first modest collection of verse, Oysgeshtrekte Hent ("Outstretched Hands," 1935), followed by another quite slender volume, Tropns Toy ("Dew Drops," 1938). During the Nazi occupation of Warsaw, Siemiatycki found refuge in Soviet-occupied Bialystok. In 1941 he moved to Vilna, suffered in its ghetto, following the liquidation of which he was shot in a labor camp. Despite his modest literary output, Siemiatycki's remarkably simple and highly individual lyrics mark him as one of the most authentic of modern Yiddish religious poets. An excited sense of wonder at God's creation characterizes his poetry.


LNYL, 6 (1965), 494–5; Sh. Belis, in Di Goldene Keyt, 114 (1984), 119–24; A. Bik, in Shragai, B (1985), 167–8.

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