HERTS (HERZ) BERGNER (April 29, 1907-January 29, 1970)
He was born in Radymno, Galicia, the younger brother of Melech Ravitch. He studied Tanakh and Gemara, and he graduated from a commercial school. In 1928 he first published a story in Oyfgang (Arise) in Warsaw. He published in: Volks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper), Ekspres (Express), Fraynd (Friend), Vokhnshrift (Weekly writing), Foroys (Onward), Literarishe tribune (Literary tribune), and Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves)—all in Warsaw; Forverts (Forward), Tsukunft (Future), and Zamlbikher (Anthologies)—in New York; Di prese (The press)—Buenos Aires; Kiem (Survival)—Paris; Di goldene keyt (The golden chain)—Tel Aviv; and Oystralishe yidishe nayes (Australian Jewish news)—Melbourne. In 1938 he emigrated to Australia. Among his books: Shtubn un gasn (Homes and streets), short stories (Warsaw, 1935), 175 pp.; Dos naye hoyz, noveln (The new house, stories) (Melbourne, 1941), 268 pp.; Tsvishn himl un vaser, roman (Between heaven and sea, a novel) (Melbourne, 1947), 198 pp.; A shtot in poyln, roman (A city in Poland, a novel) (Melbourne, 1950), 516 pp.; Dos hoyz fun dzheykob ayziks (The house of Jacob Isaacs), stories (Melbourne, 1955), 318 pp.; Vu der emes shteyt ayn, dertseylungen (Where the truth lies, stories) (Melbourse, 1966), 301 pp.; Likht un shotn, roman (Light and shadow, a novel) (Melbourne, 1960), 456 pp.; M’darf zayn a mentsh, dertseylungen (One must be a good person, stories) (Melbourne, 1971), 332 pp. His work was included in Lebn un kamf zamlbukh fun der yidisher linker literatur in poyln (Life and struggle, anthology of leftist Yiddish literature in Poland) (Minsk, 1936). He also edited: Shriftn (Writings), a monthly journal (together with colleagues) in Warsaw (1936); and served on the editorial board of 2ter oystralisher almanakh (Second Australian almanac) (Melbourne) and the monthly journal Oyfboy (Construction) in Melbourne. In 1946 he received from the Australian Literary Society an award for his novel Tsvishn himl un vaser, published the same year in an English translation. Bergner was considered one of the more artistic of realist storytellers in contemporary Yiddish literature. He was living in Melbourne, Australia, where he died.
Sources: Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (October 1941); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Tog (New York) (December 1941); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (August 1944); Melech Ravitch, in Afn shvel (New York) (January-February 1945); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (September 1951); Y. Y. Sigal, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (July 1951); Y. Varshavski, in Forverts (New York) (September 1951); A. Regelson, in Al hamishmar (Tel Aviv) (May 1951); Y. Cohen, in Tsienistishe shtime (Paris) (February 15, 1951); M. Lis, in Kiem (Paris) (January 1952).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 103.]