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Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
Vilniaus Gaono Žydų Istorijos Muziejus



Exhibit of the month

Published: 2022-11-30


Ber Halpern, Mayn ikhes (My Origin), Yiddish, Moscow, 1978, pp. 280. Ref. No. VŽM 6213
Ber Halpern (born in Darsūniškis (Kaišiadorys District) in 1902 – died in Vilnius in 1984) was one of the last Lithuanian writers who wrote only in Yiddish. During World War I, he lived in Liepaja with his parents. After Lithuania regained its independence, Halpern returned to Kaunas, where he completed his studies and became a certified construction engineer. In the 1920s, he made his debut in publicistic writing, and his work was published in Paris. After some time, Halpern emigrated to Uruguay, where he became one of the editors of a Jewish newspaper published in Montevideo. In 1936, he returned to the then Polish-occupied Vilnius. In 1937, Halpern went to the Soviet Union and settled in Moscow. After some time, he was imprisoned in Norilsk, and after the war – in Krasnoyarsk Region. Since 1965, Halpern collaborated with the magazine Sovetish Heymland (Soviet Homeland) published in Moscow. Most of his works written between 1960 and 1980 are included in the book Mayn ikhes (My Origin), which was published in 1978 by the publishing house ‘Sovetskij pisatel’. In 1983, the book was translated into Russian. His second book Khezhbn-hanefesh (Life Report) was published in 1984. In addition, Halpern translated into Yiddish works by Algimantas Baltakis, Jonas Strielkūnas, Violeta Palčinskaitė, and other Lithuanian writers. Ber Halpern was buried in Vilnius Jewish cemetery.
PS The text of the exhibit of the month was prepared for press on the 14th of November, which is Ber Halpern's birthday.
The book contains a dedication by Ber Halpern in Yiddish to writer Jokūbas Josadė and his wife Sheyna: ‘To my dear friends - Sheynele and Jankel Josadė - with love and friendship, Ber Halpern, 16 July 1978’.
Prepared by Ilona Murauskaitė, curator of written collections
© From the VGMJH collections



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