one of the great Yiddish poets, was born near Vilna in 1913, and spent his early childhood in Siberia. He returned to Vilna, the "Jerusalem of Lithuania," and lived there between the two World Wars, where he became a poet, lived through the Holocaust, saw the humiliation and destruction of his people and city, was active in the cultural life of the ghetto (1941/43), saved cultural treasures from the Germans, fought as a partisan in the forests, and was flown out of German occupied territory to Moscow in the middle of the war.
In 1947, Sutzkever emigrated to Israel, where he still resides, and has since become the country's foremost Yiddish poet, never forgetting "Jerusalem of Lithuania" and the annihilation of his people in Europe. In Tel Aviv, he founded the Yiddish literary quarterly Digoldene keyt (The Golden Chain) in 1948, which he still edits today (130 issues have been published). The quarterly has given renewed life to worldwide Yiddish literature for nearly half a century, publishing the surviving Yiddish writers from Europe, the Americas, the Soviet Union, and Israel. Sutzkever has received many awards, including the literary prize of the Vilna Ghetto Writers' Union and the prestigious Israel Prize. His poetry and fiction have been translated into many languages, including Hebrew, French, English, German, Russian, Polish, and Japanese.