YIVO Online Exhibitions

Letter to Chaim Grade from American Visitor



Letter to Chaim Grade from American Visitor




Grade, Chaim


Letter to Yiddish writer Chaim Grade, a leading member of the Yung Vilne (Young Vilna) literary group, from B. Hariton, a friend in New York who had recently visited the city.
September 29, 1938

Dear Comrade Reb Chaim Grade!

You will please forgive me a thousand times for not writing until now. It’s quite possible that by now you have forgotten even the existence of such a person in the world. But I hope that this short letter will remind you that such a person definitely exists, in a province near New York, with the assurance that I have not forgotten you.

Our conversation in the hotel and also when we were strolling through the Vilna streets and allies was very special for me. Ay! At times I miss you!...

It took me several weeks to rouse myself from my so-called “trip” (don’t read trip-er) and could put aside the work in my school. Today, I’ve come from New York, where I spent five days. On Saturday night, I met with a group from our “Yunge” (how long will they call themselves young?). I told them of the wonders of the Jerusalem of Lithuania. Every one of them asked how Grade, [Abraham] Sutzkever, [Elkhonen] Vogler, Rajzel Zychlinsky and others are doing. Go tell them, those big city suckers! Glantz [Aaron Glanz-Leyeles] talked with me a great deal about you and Sutzkever; he’s a big fan of yours.

Nu, permit me to cut this letter a little bit short. Write me a proper letter, about yourself and the other “boys.”

I assure you that I won’t remain in your debt. [He will write back.]

Tell Shmerke [Kaczerginski] that in the next few days I will write him a separate letter.

Warm regards to everyone, our older comrades [Zalmen] Reyzen, [Max] Weinreich, Zelig Kalmanovitch, and the entire Young Vilna group with their inspirations and those who inspired me…. Shulke Reyzen, [Dovid] Kaplan-Kaplanski, and all Vilna, in general.

More about me in the next letter.

In friendship,


B. Tz. Hariton [Schenectady]


Hariton, B. Z.


Lithuanian Central State Archives
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research


YIVO Institute for Jewish Research








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Hariton, B. Z., “Letter to Chaim Grade from American Visitor,” YIVO Online Exhibitions, accessed July 10, 2020, https://exhibitions.yivo.org/items/show/6622.
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