Monday, 4 April 2016


MORTKHE (MAX) HERSHMAN (b. May 2, 1891)
            He was born in Berdichev, Ukraine, into a poor working family.  Until age thirteen he studied in religious primary school, thereafter until age nineteen he concentrated on secular subjects.  He lived in Warsaw, 1910-1911, and there he worked as a private tutor, and as an external student he graduated from high school.  He moved to London in 1911.  He began writing in 1910 in Russian, later switching to Yiddish and English.  He published poetry in: Di tsayt (The times), Di post (The mail), Di fraye yidishe tribune (The Jewish tribune), and Loshn un lebn (Language and life).  He was a regular contributor to Arbayter fraynd (Workers’ friend) in London.  He contributed as well to Dorem-afrike (South Africa) in Johannesburg, among other serials.  Among his books: Erd-vey (Earth-woe), poetry (London, 1924), 64 pp.; Breyshis, poeme (In the beginning, a poem) (London, 1954), 40 pp., an English version of this was also published; in English, Bound and Shackled: A Selection of Thoughts on Jews, Gentiles and Other Topical Problems (London, 1944), 76 pp.  He translated from English into Yiddish Lord Byron’s Der gefangener fun shilon (The Prisoner of Chillon), and from French François Coppée’s Der sultanes kop (The sultana’s head [original: Tête de la sultane].  Both appeared in print in Arbater fraynd (London, 1922).

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1.

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