Wednesday, 28 February 2018


ELYE SEGAL (May 10, 1892-1963)
            He was born in Mariampol (Marijampolė), Lithuania.  He studied in religious elementary schools and for a time with Dr. Y. Klatskin.  He graduated from a Russian state high school in Mariampol and studied medicine at Königsberg University.  He was a cofounder of the academic association named for Theodor Herzl.  At the time of WWI, he returned to Mariampol.  From 1917 until the end of WWI, he was working in a number of hospitals in Vilna.  He was mobilized in 1919 by the Lithuanians opposed to the Poles and Russians.  In 1924 he wrote his doctoral thesis and received the title of doctor from Würzburg University.  He directed the courses for Hebrew teachers (1924-1925) run by Tarbut in Kovno, and also at this time he contributed to Di idishe shtime (The Jewish voice) and Had lita (Echo of Lithuania) in Kovno.  Over the years 1925-1930, he was director of studies, teacher, and doctor at the Riga Hebrew high school.  In 1931 he was a member of the editorial board of Di idishe shtime and Had lita (later, Netivot [Pathways]), and he also wrote for Lithuanian newspapers.  With the invasion of the Soviets (1940-1941), his house became a center of Kovno Jewish leaders.  When the Germans marched into Kovno, he was appointed leader of the social and medical division of the ghetto, and after the great Aktion (the annihilation of 12,000 Jews), he organized a united secret Zionist committee in the underground ghetto.  With the liquidation of the Kovno ghetto, he was deported to Dachau, and from there in 1945 he was liberated by the Americans.  In 1946 he made aliya to the land of Israel.  From 1947 he worked as a doctor in Tel Aviv’s municipal schools.  He published the work “Tatspiyot refuot psikhologiyot betekufat hashoa” (Observations of medical psychology in the era of the Holocaust) in the annual yearbook of the Ḥerut (Freedom) party.  He translated Dr. M. Dukhovni’s “Meḥkar betoldot haam haivri beerets yisrael bamea haḥamishit lesfh”n” (Study of the history of the Jewish people in the land of Israel in the fifth century, C.E.) into Hebrew.  He wrote over 400 medical articles.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Source: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 6 (Tel Aviv, 1955), pp. 2706-7.
Yankev Kahan

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