David Vogel (author)

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Vogel in around 1919

David Vogel (1891–1944) was a Russian-born Hebrew poet, novelist, and diarist.

Biography[edit]

David Vogel was born on May 15, 1891 [1] in the town of Satanov in the Podolia region in the Russian Pale of Settlement. The family spoke Yiddish. In 1909-1910, he arrived in Vilnius as a yeshiva student. He worked as the caretaker of a synagogue and studied Hebrew. Moving to Vienna in 1912, he spent his time loitering, sitting in cafes and teaching Hebrew to make ends meet.[2] He accepted a job copying letters for the Zionist federation but soon quit. During World War I he was arrested as a Russian enemy alien and spent time in internment camps.[3] Towards the end of the war, he began publishing impressionist poems.

In 1919, he married Ilka, who became ill with tuberculosis. In 1925, he settled in Paris, where he wrote prose and poetry, and married a second time. In 1929, he and his wife, Nada Adler, immigrated to Palestine, where their daughter, Tamar, was born. After spending time in Poland and Berlin, the family returned to Paris. When World War II erupted, Vogel and his daughter fled to southeastern France where Nada was recuperating in a sanatorium. He was interned as an Austrian citizen and freed in 1940 when the Nazis occupied France.[2]

Various stories circulated about his life after that. In 1944-45, the Hebrew newspapers in Palestine reported his "disappearance." [2] He was presumed to have died in the Holocaust.[3]

Israeli literary scholar Dan Pagis discovered that he returned to Hauteville after his release from internment camp. In 1944, he was arrested by the Gestapo, imprisoned in Lyon, and sent to Drancy, a transit camp for French Jews. Four days later, he was murdered in Auschwitz.[2]

Literary career[edit]

Among his works are collections of poems in free meter and several novels edited posthumously by Menakhem Perry. His diaries covering the period 1912–1922 were published as The End of the Days. The novel Married Life was written between 1929 and 1939. The novel has been re-published in Israel in 1986, in a new version edited from the manuscripts by Menakhem Perry,and became a best-seller. A semi-autobiographical novel, written in Yiddish and published in Hebrew as They All Went Out to Battle, is a Kafkaesque/carnivalesque depiction of deliberate, radical self-isolation in the French concentration camp. The Hebrew publication is a version prepared by Menakhem Perry, who made a short novel out of hundreds of pages of the Yiddish manuscript.

The only book of poems he published in his lifetime was Lifney Hasha'ar Ha'afel ("Before the Dark Gate"), in Vienna in 1923, but his poetry was influential with other Hebrew poets in the 1950s.[3]

The critic Yael S. Feldman cites Vogel as an example in which bilingualism affected modern Hebrew poetry.

Published works[edit]

  • Lifnei Sha'ar ha-Afel (70 poems), Vienna (1923)
  • Le-ever ha-Dmamah (78 poems), posth. ed. Tel Aviv (1983)
  • They All Went Out to Battle (Yiddish)
  • In the Sanatorium (1927)
  • Facing the Sea, Paris (1932)
  • Married Life (1929; Menakhem Perry's version 1986)
  • Viennese Romance (c. 1937-1938; posth. ed. Tel Aviv 2012)
  • Extinguished Stations (ed. Menakhem Perry) (1990)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "This day, May 15, in Jewish history". Cleveland Jewish News. 
  2. ^ a b c d Noa Limone reveals a previously unknown novel by David Vogel, Haaretz
  3. ^ a b c Carmi, T., The Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse, p 135, Penguin, 1981, ISBN 978-0-14-042197-2