Saturday, 17 February 2018


SHIMEN SAMET (March 13, 1904-1998)
            He was born in Zholkiev (Żółkiew), eastern Galicia.  He was educated at home, which was a meeting place for Zionists and after WWI a center of the pioneer movement.  He attended a Polish middle and high school.  From his youth he was drawn to journalism.  He was edited in high school a student newspaper and published in various periodicals in Polish, Hebrew, and Yiddish.  From time to time he published correspondence pieces in Togblat (Daily newspaper) in Lemberg.  He was active in “Young Guard” and “Pioneers” in Galicia.  In early 1926 he made aliya to the land of Israel.  In 1927 he became a contributor to Davar (Word) in Tel Aviv.  In 1932 he was a member of the editorial board of Haarets (The land) in Tel Aviv, in which he worked as director of the news and reporting department.  Until WWII he was Israel correspondent for Chwila (Moment) in Lemberg, Nowy dziennik (New daily) in Cracow, and Radyo (Radio), the afternoon edition of Moment (Moment) in Warsaw.  He was also a member of the editorial board of the Israeli weekly newspapers 9 beerev (9 p.m.) and Haolam haze (This world).  From 1938 he was employed (with news and reportage) with the radio station “Kol yisrael” (Voice of Israel).  He was one of the founders of the Hebrew journalists association in Tel Aviv, in which he also over the course of decades was a member of its presidium and administrative committee.  He visited two dozen countries, including the United States, and he published a large number of travel narratives.  He was sent by Haarets and “Kol yisrael” in late 1945 to visit postwar Poland.  After returning to Israel, he recorded his impressions and published them in the Yiddish-language press, primarily in Forverts (Forward) in New York.  He also published his impressions in a book entitled Bevoi lemoḥorat, masa bepolin 1946 (When I come the next day, a journey in Poland 1946) (Tel Aviv: T. Leynman, 1946), 240 pp.; chapters of this were published in Polish and English periodicals as well as in Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) in New York.  Sanet later once again visited Poland, as well as Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Romania, and as a result of this trip brought out his volume Meaḥore havilon haadom, rishme-masa bimedinot komunistiyot (Behind the red curtain, tour guides to Communist countries) (Tel Aviv: N. Tverski, 1955/1956), 250 pp.  His travel writings assumed a position of honor among writings of this genre in Hebrew.  Samet played a leading role among Hebrew journalists in establishing a rapprochement between Yiddish guest authors outside Israel and writers within the country.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 3 (Tel Aviv, 1949), pp. 1370-71; Mi vemi beyisrael (Who’s who in Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1955); Y. Varshavski, in Forverts (New York) (January 15, 1956); Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (September 12, 1956); Palestine Personalia, ed. Peretz Cornfeld (Tel Aviv, 1947); Who’s Who in Israel (1958).
Mortkhe Yofe

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