4 I 1900, Burshtyn (Ukraine) — VIII 1942, Lviv Ghetto

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Biography

Debora Vogel was a poet as well as literary and art critic writing mainly in Polish and Yiddish. Her experimental works combined poetry and visual arts.

She was born in 1902, in the small town of Burshtyn in Galicia (now Ukraine). During World War I, her family fled first to Vienna and later to Lviv where Debora spent most of her life.

German was her language of choice when she first began writing, but her first published work was written in Polish. Rachel Auerbach, a writer and promoter of modern Yiddish culture, encouraged her to try her hand at writing in Yiddish, even though it was not spoken at Debora’s family home. Ultimately, she decided to write in Polish, Hebrew, and Yiddish. She was active in Yiddish literary circles and wrote for Polish language newspapers. Debora published essays on poetry, as well as art reviews and poems. She was a friend of Bruno Schulz.

Experimentation was the driving force behind Debora’s poetry. Written mainly in 1930s, her poems incorporated both radicalism and minimalism which became the characteristic features of her work. Her poetic experiments aimed to combine poetry and visual arts using a method which Debora referred to as the “white words” technique. She published two volumes of poems Tog-figurn (‘Figures of the Day”, 1930) and Manekinen (“Mannequins,” 1934), as well as a collection of montages titled “Acacias Bloom” which appeared in two linguistic versions:  in Yiddish in 1935, titled Akacjes blien, and, in Polish in 1936, as Akacje kwitną.

In 1932, Debora married Szulim Barenblüth, a Lviv architect and engineer. Their only son, Anshel, was born four years later. When the city was taken over by the Nazis, the whole family ended up in the Lviv ghetto, where they were murdered during its liquidation in 1942.

Debora Vogel was a poet as well as literary and art critic writing mainly in Polish and Yiddish. Her experimental works combined poetry and visual arts.

She was born in 1902, in the small town of Burshtyn in Galicia (now Ukraine). During World War I, her family fled first to Vienna and later to Lviv where Debora spent most of her life.

German was her language of choice when she first began writing, but her first published work was written in Polish. Rachel Auerbach, a writer and promoter of modern Yiddish culture, encouraged her to try her hand at writing in Yiddish, even though it was not spoken at Debora’s family home. Ultimately, she decided to write in Polish, Hebrew, and Yiddish. She was active in Yiddish literary circles and wrote for Polish language newspapers. Debora published essays on poetry, as well as art reviews and poems. She was a friend of Bruno Schulz.

Experimentation was the driving force behind Debora’s poetry. Written mainly in 1930s, her poems incorporated both radicalism and minimalism which became the characteristic features of her work. Her poetic experiments aimed to combine poetry and visual arts using a method which Debora referred to as the “white words” technique. She published two volumes of poems Tog-figurn (‘Figures of the Day”, 1930) and Manekinen (“Mannequins,” 1934), as well as a collection of montages titled “Acacias Bloom” which appeared in two linguistic versions:  in Yiddish in 1935, titled Akacjes blien, and, in Polish in 1936, as Akacje kwitną.

In 1932, Debora married Szulim Barenblüth, a Lviv architect and engineer. Their only son, Anshel, was born four years later. When the city was taken over by the Nazis, the whole family ended up in the Lviv ghetto, where they were murdered during its liquidation in 1942.

Here you will soon be able to read samples of Debora Vogel’s poetry and prose. If you read in Polish or German, please take a look at other language versions of this page!