MEYER-BER GUTMAN (b. July 17, 1898)
He was born in Lodz, Poland, into a well-to-do family. He received a traditional Jewish education as well as to a certain extent a general secular education. Later he worked as a laborer. Until the war in 1939, he was living in Lodz. He was active in Jewish drama circles. Until August 1944, he was in the Lodz ghetto, from which he was sent to Auschwitz, but he survived until liberated (April 1945)—and until 1951 he resided in Germany. From 1951 he was in Chicago where he worked as a teacher in Workmen’s Circle schools. He began writing poetry before the war, but was interrupted for a time. He later published in Unzer shtime (Our voice) in Bergen-Belsen in 1946, and in St. atilyer bleter (St. Atilier leaves) in 1947. He published a book of poems, Farvolknte teg (Cloudy days) (Bergen-Belsen, 1949), 185 pp. He edited (together with A. Rozenfeld) Tsoytn, belzener bletlekh (Tufts of hair, Belsen leaves), an anthology of literature, criticism, and community issues (Bergen-Belsen, August-September 1947; 1948). His poetry was written in a torrential, though simple folk language and put into words the poet’s survival through the years of the Holocaust.
Sources: M. Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (January 9, 1950); B. Mark, Umgekumene shrayber fun di getos un lagern (Murdered writers from the ghettos and camps) (Warsaw, 1954), p. 161; Kh. L. Fuks, “Dos yidishe literarishe lodz” (Jewish literary Lodz), in Fun noentn over (New York, 1957), vol. 3.