Monday, 10 December 2018


YOSL FREYDKES (1902-August 5, 1973)
            He was born in Bialystok.  In 1933 he emigrated to Argentina.  He wrote for Communist Yiddish publications.  He was a member of the editorial board of Ikuf-zhurnal (IKUF journal), a monthly for literature and criticism in Buenos Aires (1940-1965).  He died in Buenos Aires.
Yoysef Horn

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 456.


AYZIK FREYDKIN (1892-1941)
            He was born in Vetke (Vetka), Homel district, Byelorussia.  He was left an orphan at age five.  He studied in religious elementary school and various yeshivas.  Later he worked as a teacher in a number of villages.  At age seventeen he left for Vilna and there became a copy-editor for Hazman (The times) and for Letste nayes (Latest news) (1916-1918).  In the latter he published poems, feature pieces, and articles.  He later contributed to Di naye velt (The new world), the anthology Lebn (Life), Ringen (Links), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), and the Bundist Undzer shtime (Our voice), among others.  Together with Sh. Dreyer and Falk Halperin, he published (1926) three issues of a weekly newspaper entitled Kunst un lebn (Art and life).  In book form: Avrom-ber gotlober un zayn epokhe, loyt farsheydene kvaln (Avrom-Ber Gotlober and his epoch, according to various sources) (Vilna: B. Kletskin, 1916), 341 pp.  With Zalmen Reyzen, he compiled Finf megiles (Five scrolls) that Y. L. Perets had worked on, with all of their variants, and also A. b. gotlobers yidishe verk (A. B. Gotlober’s Yiddish works) (Vilna: B. Kletsin, 1937), 254 pp.  Other works include: Haynrikh hayne, der genyaler liriker (Heinrich Heine, the brilliant lyrical poet) (Warsaw: Groshn-biblyotek, 1931), 64 pp.; Gete, der goen fun vaymar (Goethe, the sage of Weimar) (Warsaw: Groshn-biblyotek, 1932), 62 pp.; Lev tolstoy, der novi fun yasnaya polyana (Lev Tolstoy, the prophet from Yasnaya Polyana) (Warsaw: Groshn-biblyotek, 1934), 63 pp.  He also translated Der kamf far ṿelt-hershaft un velt-vegn (The fight for world domination and world ways) by Pavel Rozental’ (P. Anman) (Vilna: B. Kletskin, 1924), 288 pp.; Ilya Ehrenburg’s Der rayser (The grabber [original: Rvach]) (Vilna: Tomor, 1927), 625 pp.; Konstantin Fedin’s Shtet un yorn (Cities and years [original: Goroda i gody]) (Vilna: Tomor, 1930), 2 vols.; Maxim Gorky’s Umet un andere dertseylungen (Gloom and other stories) (Vilna: B. Kletskin, 1928), 256 pp.; Gorky’s Malva un andere dertseylungen (Malva and other stories) (Vilna: Kletskin, 1928), 252 pp.  During WWII and the Nazi occupation, he was confined in the Vilna ghetto.  His wife, a Yiddish teacher, was killed in the Vilna ghetto during the Aktion of the “yellow certificates.”  He and his two sons were shot by the Germans at Ponar at the end of 1941.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Dr. Yankev Shatski, in Pinkes (New York) 1 (1927-1928), pp. 162-68; Danyel Tsharni (Daniel Charney), in Tsukunft (New York) (January 1943); Charney, in Yidishe shriftn (Lodz) (1946); Shmerke Katsherginski, Khurbn vilne (The Holocaust in Vilna) (New York, 1947); Lerer yizker-bukh (Remembrance volume for teachers) (New York, 1954), p. 349.
Yankev Kahan


            He was born in Nikolaev, Kherson Province, Ukraine.  He studied in religious elementary school and in the rabbinical seminary.  In 1896 he graduated from Odessa University.  He was a delegate to every Zionist congresses from 1898 to 1939.  He was cofounder of the Odessa “Bnei Tsiyon” (Children of Zion).  After the Bolshevik Revolution, he lived in Western Europe: Berlin, Paris, and elsewhere.  He began writing in Russian in Razsvet (Dawn) in St. Petersburg, later serving as editor of Tsienistisher almanakh (Zionist almanac) in Odessa (1902-1903).  In Yiddish he published articles in: Haynt (Today) and Unzer velt (Our world) in Warsaw; Gut morgn (Good morning) in Odessa); and Yidishe prese (Jewish press) in Berlin.  In book form: Zikhroynes fun a tsienistishn soldat (Memoirs of a Zionist soldier) (Brussels, 1938), 276 pp., Hebrew translation by Avraham Shlevin as
Zikhronotaṿ shel ḥayal tsiyoni (Jerusalem, 2017), 416 pp. (including additional articles translated from Russian).  Since WWII there has been no further information about him.

Source: B. Shoykhetman, in Kriyat sefer (Jerusalem) 15.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


MEYER-YANKEV FREYD (August 31, 1871-March 25, 1940)
            He was born in Kalvarye (Kalvarija), Suwalk district, Lithuania.  He studied in a “cheder metukan” (improved religious elementary school).  He graduated high school in Mariampol (Marijampolė).  In 1889 he settled in Warsaw and worked in a business office; he later opened an advertising office as well as a publishing house and a bookshop primarily selling Judaica and Hebraica.  He contributed work to Hatsfira (The siren).  Under Perets’s influence, he switched to Yiddish and published in Perets’s anthologies: Yidishe biblyotek (Yiddish library), Literatur un lebn (Literature and life), and Yontef-bletlekh (Holiday sheets).  He wrote about the life of animals, the first of the genre in Yiddish literature.  He corresponded from Warsaw for Velt (World) in Vienna and to Fraynd (Friend) in St. Petersburg.  He adapted in Yiddish a German-language, sensational novel about Dreyfus and thus the volumes of his Kapitan dreyfus (Captain Dreyfus) was dubbed: “an extraordinarily interesting novel of contemporary times,” five kopeks a copy (incidentally, the first Yiddish novel sold in booklets in Poland), and the printings hugely successful.  They initially brought out as many as 25,000 copies.  The novel was also translated into Russian and Polish.  When L. Tsukerman began publishing a series of Yiddish books under the title “Tsukermans folks-biblyothek” (Tsukerman’s popular library) (Warsaw, 1889), Freyd adapted for the series: Di goldmakher, a emes interesante geshikhte…nokh haynrikh tshoke (The goldmakers, a truly interesting story…after Heinrich Zschokke [original: Das Goldmacherdorf (The Goldmakers’ village)]), 56 pp.; Shakespeare’s Der koyfman fun venedig (The Merchant of Venice), in the form of a story; Daniil Mordovtsev’s historical novel, Di heldn fun yerusholaim (The heroes of Jerusalem) (Warsaw: M. Spektor, 1898; Vilna, 1903), 104 pp.  He penned a pamphlet entitled Di groyse tsienistishe asife in minsk (The great Zionist assembly in Minsk) (Warsaw: Folks-bildung, 1902).  In Yud (Jew), among other items, he published a work entitled “Don yitskhok abravanel” (Don Isaac Abravanel) in 1899.  In 1910 he began publishing an illustrated weekly entitled Der shtral (The beam [of light]), under the editorship of A. L. Yakubovitsh.  Virtually every week, he wrote editorials, features, essays, and reviews of Polish and Yiddish writers, books, and theater, under such pen names as: A Fremder and Mi”f (Der shtral last fifteen months).  He published several chapters of memoirs involving Yehoash, Mendele, Y. A. Leyserovitsh, and his Dreyfus novel in Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw (1927).  He was an active Ḥovev-Tsiyon (Lover of Zion), later a political Zionist.  He was one of the elected heads of the Warsaw Jewish community council.  In 1924 he visited the land of Israel and in 1932 settled there.  He established when he arrived a newspaper entitled Haoyle (The immigrant [to Palestine]) and started writing his memoirs which was to appear in five booklets, two volumes.  The Hebrew edition was: Yamim veshanim, zikhronot vetsiyurim mitekufa shel amishim shana (Days and years, memoirs and paintings from a period of fifty years) (Tel Aviv, 1938/1939), which was a translation from the Yiddish by Avraham Zamir.  In Israel he published one further work in Yiddish: Vegvayzer un informator fun erets-yisroel (Guide and information to the land of Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1934), 66 pp.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (May 6, 1929); Sefer haishim (Biographical dictionary) (Tel Aviv, 1937); Nakhmen Mayzil, Y. l. perets, zayn lebn un shafn (Vilna: B. Kletskin, 1931), vol. 1; yearbook of Polish Jewry (1940), pp. 57-59; Hadoar (New York) (August 2, 1940); Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (October 16, 1940); B. Kutsher, Geven amol varshe (As Warsaw once was) (Paris, 1955); D. Tidhar, Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol.11 (Tel Aviv, 1961), p. 3786.
Yankev Kahan

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 550.]


SONYE FRAY (1903-1979)
            She was a journalist born in Zhitomir.  She was one of the first member of the Communist Youth in the city, and she took part in the civil war.  At eighteen years of age, she joined the Communist Party.  In the early 1920s she began her journalistic work, initially with the Kharkov journal Arbeter-yugnt (Workers’ youth), and she was later one of the organizers of the Moscow journal Yungvald (Young forest).  In Minsk she founded the newspaper Der yunger arbeter (The young worker).  She was also the first editor of the Minsk-based Byelorussian youth newspaper Chervona zmena (Red team).  From 1925 until 1932, she was involved with leading party work in Minsk, Tashkent, and Moscow.  After graduating from the Institute of Red Professors, she became a lecturer in political economy at a series of Moscow’s senior high schools, defended a dissertation on “the economic crisis in Russia over the years 1900-1903,” and received the title of candidate in economic science.  The mass campaign to “unmask the enemies of the people” did not avoid her, and she was purged in 1937; she spent eighteen years in prison and the gulag.  After being rehabilitated in 1956, she returned to Moscow.  Over the course of the following decades, she worked in the Moscow Institute for Foreign Languages, where she taught political economy.  Beginning in 1961, she was a member of the editorial collective of Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland).

Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), p. 300.


DANIEL FRAYBERG (April 13, 1907-June 26, 1981)
            He was born in Anepol (Annopol), Poland.  He survived the Warsaw Ghetto, Auschwitz, and other concentration camps.  From 1950 he was living on Kibbutz Loame hagetaot (Fighters of the Ghetto).  He was the author of memoirs entitled: Fintsternish af der erd (Darkness over the land) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1973), 539 pp., Hebrew edition, oshekh kisa arets (Tel Aviv, 1970), 324 pp.  He died in Kibbutz Loame hagetaot.
Ezra Lahad

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 455.


MOSES FREEMAN (February 19, 1859-June 7, 1937)
            He was born in Odessa, Russian empire.  He studied in religious elementary school, in the Romanovka yeshiva, and in the great yeshiva of Odessa.  He was one of those who founded “Am Olam” (Eternal people [Russian Jewish agricultural colonies]) in 1880.  He organized the second contingent of “Am Olam” and was with the group, including his family, that in 1882 came to New York.  They attempted to establish and outfit a farm in Vineland, New Jersey, and after it collapsed they returned to New York in 1884 to look for work.  He left for Philadelphia, where he initially took up work as a peddler.  He later had a variety of livelihoods.  In 1892 he edited and published Di idishe prese (The Jewish press), “a weekly newspaper for elucidation, truth, light, and unity” (August 26, 1892-March 23, 1894).  He also contributed to: Di idishe velt (The Jewish world); Bris akhim buletin (Brotherhood bulletin), a monthly journal; Propaganda-blat far der bris akhim organizatsye (Propaganda paper for the Brotherhood organization), edited by B. Tirkl; and co-edited Di filadelfyer prese (The Philadelphia press), a weekly newspaper (four issues).  In book form: Fuftsig yohr geshikhṭe fun idishen leben in filadelfye (Fifty years of Jewish life in Philadelphia, 1879-1929), part 1 (Philadelphia: Mid-City Press, 1929), 213 pp., part 2 (1934), 318 pp. (Philadelphia: Kultur, 1934).  This work is of considerable importance as a source on the history of Jewish immigration to America.  He died in Philadelphia.

Sources: Dovid-Ber Tirkl, in Pinkes (New York) 1 (1928), pp. 260-62; Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (May 29, 1945).
Yankev Kahan