Chaim Schwartz was a poet, Yiddishist and social activist. He was born in 1903 in the shtetl of Berezin, near Minsk (now Belarus). He left in 1920 and, after sojourns in Poland and Mexico, joined his family in St. Louis, Missouri in 1921. After a brief stint of factory work, he decided to learn a trade in order to make an independent living, and he became a wallpaper hanger. While in St. Louis he became active in both cultural and political movements, participating in the Proletpen movement and becoming a member of the Communist Party. He married Ruth (Rivke) Levine, a native of Polone, Ukraine; they had two children, Hal and Sandra. In 1937, the family moved to Los Angeles, first to Boyle Heights and later to the Fairfax district. In Los Angeles, he was active in the Misha Yablon Cultural Center, giving lectures, translating literary works and, above all, in writing his poetry. He ultimately published 7 volumes of his work:

          Ershte Blit (1928)
          Unzer Dor (1950)
          Der Groyser Gerangel (1943)
          In Shayn Fun Baginen (1968)
          Likhtike Shtign (1975)
          Zun Iber Volkns (1986; includes English translations)
          Ven Ikh Gey Fun Aykh
              (1998, posthumous; copies still available)

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