Monday 5 May 2014


YANKL ADLER (1895-April 25, 1949)
Born in Lodz to poor parents who made a living selling coal from a stall.  Studied in religious schools and for a short time in a synagogue.  From a very early age, he began working as an engineer to an engraver.  At that time he painted his first pictures and wrote poetry.  He was in Serbia in 1910 and later in Germany.  He returned to Lodz in 1918 and became one of the founders of the Yung-Yidish group as well as one of the editors of the magazine, Yung-yidish (Young Jew) (Lodz, 1919, issues 1-6).  He published his own prose poem, “Ikh zing a tfile” (I chant a prayer), Yung-yidish 3.2, and some of his drawings as well.  In 1930 he was a professor at the Dusselfdorf Academy of Art.  At the beginning of 1935, he returned to Poland.  On that occasion, a special “Yankl Adler issue” of Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves, February 22, 1935) was published, with articles about him by Y. M. Nayman, Moyshe Broderzon, Itsik Manger, and Aleksander Granakh.  At the end of 1935, he was in Paris.  Among his publications: “Der veg fun yidishn kinstler” (The way of a Jewish artist), Yissakhar Ber Rybak (Paris 1937).  When the war broke out in 1939, he joined the Polish Army in France as a volunteer, and he went with them to Scotland.  In 1943 he was demobilized, and he renewed his painting and writing activities.  He died on April 25, 1949 on the eve of his departure to make aliya.

Sources: S. W. Hayer, Jankel Adler (London, 1948); Literarishe bleter (February 23, 1935); Dr. A. Maytlis, in Loshn un lebn (Language and life) (London, June 1949); M. Poyering, in Der morgn (no. 12, Munich, June 1949).

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