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Modern yiddish literature the classic writers the most important period in yiddish literature began in 1864 with the publication of sy sholem yankev abramovitshs dos kleyne mentshele the little man eng trans the parasiteabramovitsh wrote his most important works while residing in berdychev now berdychiv zhitomir now zhytomyr and odessa all now in ukraine. Yiddish literature the body of written works in the yiddish language of ashkenazic jewry its history can be divided into old yiddish literature c 1300 1780 haskala and hasidism c 1755 1880 and modern yiddish literature from 1864 it has been in decline since the nazi genocide of the 20th century. It is now recognized as one of the classic works of modern yiddish literature hurwitss son hirsh ber 1785 1861 was a banker active maskil and the founder of the first modern school in uman after a bankruptcy hirsh ber fled to england converted to christianity and was an instructor of hebrew at cambridge university under the name of bernard hermann. That wiener included so many pieces by major writers of his time that are considered great works today testifies to his sound literary judgment many later anthologies of yiddish prose translations generally start with the big three authors from the late 1800s mendele aleichem and peretz as if little or nothing existed before them