Izi Kharik

Izi Kharik, a great Yiddish literary figure and victim of Stalin, was born on November 17, 1898. In his short life, Kharik became one of the most significant Yiddish poets of his day.

Born in Zembin, Minsk Gubernia, Kharik began publishing poetry as a teenager. After moving to Minsk in 1920, he wrote for the Belorussian literary journal, כוואַליעס (Waves). He went on to become an editor at the literary magazine שטערן (Star) and the Minsk daily אָקטיאַבר (October).

Kharik was at a literary pinnacle when he was arrested in the 1937 purge and executed in the forest outside Minsk alongside over 100 other leading writers, poets, and intellectuals of the republic in October 1937.

David Shneer

Listen here to Sidor Belarsky sing Kharik’s lullaby, “ס׳איז קיין ברויט אין שטוב ניטאָ נאָך (There’s Still No Bread in the House).” And watch students on the 2014 Yiddishkayt Helix Project listen to the song in Izi Kharik’s neighborhood in Minsk, Belarus.