Moshe Diskant

A relatively large amount of artistic creativity marked the three-year existence of the Kovno ghetto.  One of its many important poets and song writers was Moshe Diskant, a well-known Hebrew teacher before the German invasion.  Like Avrom Akselrod and other inmates, he was critical of the divisions between wealthy and poor in the ghetto, and expressed discomfort with the systems of entertainment developed under the guidance of the Jewish Council.  In late 1942 he wrote a highly critical poem bemoaning the fact that

the ghetto elite are invited into the decorated salon and with them they bring the men who ordered – our murder, degradation, and slaughter! They enjoy intensifying the scene with blue and white flags, to hear the music, the pleasant tenor!

Moshe was born in 1889 in Padubysis, Lithuania, and his wife Gutl was born in 1893 in Srednik. They lived in Kovno with their three sons, Itzhak, Aba and Aisik.

Itzhak was born in 1920 in Kovno. He died on a death march in 1941. Aba was born in 1924 in Kovno. He was a partisan in the "Death to the Invaders" regiment and was killed in Lithuania in 1944. Aisik was born in 1922 in Kovno. He was a soldier in the Red Army and was killed near Königsberg, Czechoslovakia in 1944.

Diskant and his wife did not survive the war, and Moshe was sent to the Stutthof camp, where he was murdered in 1944. His wife died during the evacuation of the Kovno ghetto in 1944.

Moshe Diskant with his wife Gutl and their three sons, from right to left Itzhak, Aba and Aisik. Mashoa International Institute for Holocaust Studies


Katsherginski, S. & Leivick, H. eds., Lider fun di Getos un Lagern, New York: Alveltlekher Yidisher Kultur-Kongres.  

USHMM, E. ed., 1997. Hidden History of the Kovno Ghetto, Boston, New York, Toronto, London: Bulfinch Press.

Mashoa International Institute for Holocaust Studies (accessed Jan 2024)