Postcard from Pressburg-Bratislava: Remembering Tuvia Ruebner

Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

On Monday, the literary world lost one of its bright lights with the passing of Tuvia Ruebner. He was 95 years old, and passed in his home on Kibbutz Merhavia, where he had lived since arrival from Nazi occupied Bratislava as a teenager in 1942. He loved his home on the kibbutz so much that he even refusing Lea Goldberg’s invitation to move to Jerusalem and work with her at the Hebrew University.

Born in 1924 as Kurt Erich in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, Ruebner grew up in a German-speaking Jewish family. Nazi race laws forced him to leave high school before graduating. In 1941 he immigrated to Israel with the Zionist youth movement Hashomer Hatzair. His family members, who remained behind, were murdered at Auschwitz.

The poem “Postcard from Pressburg-Bratislava,” found in the volume “Late Beauty,” is his goodbye to his home town and its devastation during the war.

Text:

In the Illuminated Dark. Selected Poems of Tuvia Ruebner. Translated and introduced by Rachel Tzvia Back. Hebrew Union College Press, 2014.

Late Beauty. Translated by Lisa Katz and Shahar Bram. Zephyr Press, 2017.

Music:

Green Sun Again – Lyrics: Tuvia Rivner | Composer: Mooney Emerilio | Execution: Nathan Slur

Oh Aesthetics – Lyrics: Tuvia Rivner | Composer: Mooney Emerilio | Performer: Yigal Sadeh

Previous Ruebner Episodes:

In Transit: Poems by Tuvia Ruebner

The Cloudy Skies of Tuvia Ruebner

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