Uri Zvi Greenberg
|Uri Zvi Greenberg|
|Date of birth||22 September 1896|
|Place of birth||Galicia, Austria-Hungary|
|Year of aliyah||1923|
|Date of death||8 May 1981(aged 84)|
|Faction represented in Knesset|
Uri Zvi Greenberg was born in Bialikamin, Galicia, then Austria-Hungary, into a prominent Hasidic family. He was raised in Lemberg (Lviv). Some of his poems in Yiddish and Hebrew were published before he was 20. In 1915 he was drafted into the army and fought in the First World War. After returning to Lemberg, he was witness to the pogroms of November 1918. Greenberg and his family miraculously escaped being shot by Polish soldiers, an experience which convinced him that all Jews living in the "Kingdom of the Cross” faced physical annihilation.
Greenberg moved to Warsaw, where he wrote for the Yiddish newspaper Moment. After a brief stay in Berlin, he immigrated to Mandatory Palestine (the Land of Israel) in 1923. Greenberg was in Poland when the Second World War erupted in 1939, but managed to escape.
In 1950, Grinberg married Aliza, with whom he had two daughters and three sons. He added "Tur-Malka" to the family name, but continued to use "Greenberg" to honor family members who perished in the Holocaust.
His first works in Hebrew and Yiddish were published in 1912. His first book, in Yiddish, was published in Lwow while he was fighting on the Serbian front. In 1921, Greenberg moved to Warsaw, with its lively Jewish cultural scene. He was one of the founders of the Chaliastra (literally, the "gang"), a group of young Yiddish writers that included Melekh Ravitch. He also edited a Yiddish literary journal, Albatros. In the wake of his iconoclastic depictions of Jesus in the second issue of Albatros, particularly his prose poem Royte epl fun veybeymer (Red Apples from the Trees of Pain), the journal was banned by the Polish censors and Grinberg fled to Berlin to escape prosecution in November 1922. The magazine incorporated avant-garde elements both in content and typography, taking its cue from German periodicals like Die Aktion and Der Sturm. Grinberg published the last two issues of Albatros in Berlin before renouncing European society and immigrating to Palestine in December 1923.
In his early days in Palestine, Greenberg wrote for Davar, one of the main newspapers of the Labour Zionist movement. In his poems and articles he warned of the fate in store for the Jews of the Diaspora. After the Holocaust, he mourned the fact that his terrible prophecies had come true. His works represent a synthesis of traditional Jewish values and an individualistic lyrical approach to life and its problems. They draw on Jewish sources such as the Bible, the Talmud and the prayer book, but are also influenced by European literature.
In the second and third issues of Albatros, Greenberg invokes pain as a key marker of the modern era. This theme is illustrated in Royte epl fun vey beymer and Veytikn-heym af slavisher erd (Pain-Home on Slavic Ground).
In 1930, Greenberg joined the Revisionist camp, representing the Revisionist movement at several Zionist congresses and in Poland. After the 1929 Hebron massacre he became more militant. With Abba Ahimeir and Joshua Yeivin, he founded Brit HaBirionim, a clandestine faction of the Revisionist movement which adopted an activist policy of violating British mandatory regulations. In the early 1930s, its members disrupted a British-sponsored census, sounded the shofar in prayer at the Western Wall despite a British prohibition, held a protest rally when a British colonial official visited Tel Aviv, and tore down Nazi flags from German offices in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. When the British arrested hundreds of its members the organization effectively ceased to exist.
He believed that the Holocaust was a 'tragic but almost inevitable outcome of Jewish indifference to their destiny.' As early as 1923, "Grinberg envisioned and warned of the destruction of European Jewry."
Following Israeli independence in 1948, he joined Menachem Begin's Herut movement. In 1949, he was elected to the first Knesset. He lost his seat in the 1951 elections. After the Six-Day War he joined the Movement for Greater Israel, which advocated Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank.
- In 1947, 1954 and 1977, Greenberg was awarded the Bialik Prize for literature.
- In 1957, Greenberg was awarded the Israel Prize for his contribution to literature.
Published works (in Hebrew)
- A Great Fear and the Moon (poetry), Hedim, 1925 (Eymah Gedolah Ve-Yareah)
- Manhood on the Rise (poetry), Sadan, 1926 (Ha-Gavrut Ha-Olah)
- A Vision of One of the Legions (poetry), Sadan, 1928 (Hazon Ehad Ha-Legionot)
- Anacreon at the Pole of Sorrow (poetry), Davar, 1928 (Anacreon Al Kotev Ha-Itzavon)
- House Dog (poetry), Hedim, 1929 (Kelev Bayit)
- A Zone of Defense and Address of the Son-of-Blood (poetry), Sadan, 1929 (Ezor Magen Ve-Ne`um Ben Ha-Dam)
- The Book of Indictment and Faith (poetry), Sadan, 1937 (Sefer Ha-Kitrug Ve-Ha-Emunah)
- From the Ruddy and the Blue (poetry), Schocken, 1950 (Min Ha-Kahlil U-Min Ha-Kahol)
- Streets of the River (poetry), Schocken, 1951 (Rehovot Ha-Nahar)
- In the Middle of the World, In the Middle of Time (poetry), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1979 (Be-Emtza Ha-Olam, Be-Emtza Ha-Zmanim)
- Selected Poems (poetry), Schocken, 1979 (Mivhar Shirim)
- Complete Works of Uri Zvi Greenberg, Bialik Institute, 1991 (Col Kitvei)
- At the Hub, Bialik Institute, 2007 (Baavi Ha-Shir)
- The Modern Hebrew Poem Itself
- List of Israel Prize recipients
- Literature of Israel
- List of Hebrew-language poets
- "Uri Zvi Greenberg, 83; Hebrew and Yiddish Poet". The New York Times. 10 May 1981.
- Greenberg, Uri Zvi (1896–1981)
- History of the literary cultures of East-Central Europe, Marcel Cornis-Pope, John Neubauer
- YIVO Enyclopedia of Jewsin Eastern Europe
- Poetry and Prophecy
- Jews at the Crossroads, Yitshak Korn
- Tradition and Revolution in Search for Roots: Uri Zvi Grinberg's Albatros
- Khulyot: Journal of Yiddish Research
- David Bergelson: From modernism to socialist realism, Joseph Sherman, Gennadiĭ Ėstraĭkh
- Grinberg commemorative stamp
- A Multilingual Modernist: Avraham Shlonsky between Hebrew and Yiddish
- Golan, Zev (2003). Free Jerusalem: Heroes, Heroines and Rogues Who Created the State of Israel. Devora. pp. 53, 68, 74, 75.
- "List of Bialik Prize recipients 1933-2004, Tel Aviv Municipality website (in Hebrew)".
- "Israel Prize Official Site - Recipients in 1957 (in Hebrew)".
- Biography: Uri Zvi Greenberg
- Abramson, Glenda (2008). Hebrew Writing of the First World War. Valentine Mitchell.
- Avidov Lipsker, Red Poem\ Blue Poem: Seven Essays on Uri Zvi Grinberg and Two Essays on Else Lasker-Schüler, Bar Ilan University Press, Ramat-Gan 2010.
- Gilles Rozier, D'un pays sans amour, a novel about the life of UZG and his friendship with Peretz Markish and Melekh Ravitch, Grasset, Paris, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Uri Zvi Grinberg.|
- Collected poems and essays of Uri Zvi Greenberg
- Under the Tooth of their Plow, Uri Zvi Grinberg
- Uri Zvi Greenberg on the Knesset website
- Tamar Wolf-Monzon, Uri Zvi Greenberg and the Pioneers of the Third Aliyah: A Case of Reception
- Uri Zvi Before the Cross: The Figure of Jesus in the Poetry of Uri Zvi Greenberg, Religion & Literature, Winter 2009, Neta Stahl
- Walt Whitman and Uri Zvi Greenberg: Voice and Dialogue, Apostrophe and Discourse, Chanita Goodblatt
- Poetry and Prophecy: The image of the poet as a "prophet," a hero and an artist in modern Hebrew poetry