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.