Yehiel Yeshaya Trunk (1887—1961) was born into a wealthy Hasidic family in the village of Osmólsk Górny near Łowicz in Poland. In youth he received a traditional Jewish education in addition to studying secular subjects with private tutors. He was able to travel abroad a good deal: he lived in Palestine for twelve months between 1913 and 1914, and spent the years of the First World War in Switzerland. He returned to Poland in 1919, and settled in Łodz, where he was active in the manufacturing industry. Six years later, in 1925, he moved to Warsaw where he played a leading role in Yiddish cultural affairs, and during the 1930s he ran the Warsaw Yiddish PEN Club. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was fortunate to be able to flee Warsaw and make his way eastwards, crossing the Soviet Union and the Pacific Ocean to arrive in the United States in 1941. There he remained for the rest of his life. 1