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Wiernik, Bertha

Entry updated 12 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

(1884-?1951) Lithuanian-born translator, poet, playwright and author, in US from 1887; beginning with her first publications in 1899, she also wrote as by Shulamit. Much of her work appeared in Yiddish publications in America, some of it in conjunction with the work of her brother, Peter Wiernik (1865-1936); after his death she gradually fell silent. Though some of her plays may have elements of Fantastika, most – like Destruction (first performed 30 June 1932 Chanin Auditorium, New York), which learnedly dramatizes a Communist meeting – seem not to have reached publication. As far as available data permit an assessment, Wiernik is of sf interest for a long story, "The Menorah Spangled Ship" (23-28 April 1919 Jewish Daily News), set in the very Near Future just after World War One has ended. Jewish refugees have poured into London, where the protagonists of the tale describe and begin to build a giant version of the Lusitania, which will be immune to assault and will transport Jews to the Land of the Chosen People. In the last paragraphs of the tale, it is clear this vision has come true. [JC]

Bertha Wiernik

born Vilna, Lithuania: 21 March 1884

died Brooklyn, New York: ?1951

works (highly selected)

  • "The Menorah Spangled Ship" (23-28 April 1919 Jewish Daily News) [mag/]


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