LEYZER ARONOVSKI (ELIEZER ARONOWSKI) (October 1904-1985)
Born in the town of Shtabin (Sztabin), Suvalki (Suwałki) district, Poland. In 1924 he emigrated to Cuba. At first he had a very difficult time making a living. Traces of these experiences can be found in his first poems in the volume entitled Kubaner lider (Cuban poems). His first published work was poetry in Kubaner yidishe yontef bleter (Cuban Jewish holiday pages). He was one of the founders of the first Yiddish writers’ group “Yung-kuba” (Young Cuba) which published the literary anthology, Yunge shprotsungen (Young sprouts); he was a contributor to the first Cuban Yiddish monthly magazine, Oyfgang (Arise), 1928-1935, in which he published poems, stories, and reportage pieces under his own name as well as using the pen name A. Eliezer. He was a cofounder and regular contributor to the newspaper Havaner lebn (Havana life) from 1933 forward and to the Havaner lebn almanakh (Havana life collections) for 1943, 1944, and 1945 in which he published, in addition to poems, such articles as: “A geshikhtlekhe iberblik iber der antviklung fun yidishn yishev in kuba” (A historical survey of the development of the Jewish settlement in Cuba) (1943: 51-63); “Vuhin geyt unzer yishev” (Where is our settlement going) which was concerned with the state of Jewish youth, school issues, and the like. He was a regular correspondent for Tog (Day) in New York. His work was published in: Tsukunft (Future), Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), Proletarisher gedank (Proletarian thought), and Nay-velt (New world) in New York; Ekspres (Express) and Dos vort (The word) in Warsaw; and Der veg (The way) in Mexico City. Among his books: Kubaner lider, published by the “Oyfgang” (Arise) editorial office (Havana, 1928), 210 pp.; Tropishe likht, lider un poemen fun kuba (Tropical light, songs and poems from Cuba) (Havana, 1930), 224 pp.; Af tsegliter erd (On red-hot earth), revolutionary motifs (Havana, 1934), 160 pp.; In kontsentratsye lager bukhenvald, perzenlekhe iberlebungen fun samuel hilovitsh (In the Buchenwald concentration camp, personal experiences of Samuel Hilovitsh) (Havana, 1939), 93 pp.; Gezang fun kontinentn, lider un poemen (Singing from the continents, songs and poems), motifs of the Holocaust and the rise of the state of Israel (Havana, 1951), 236 pp.; Marti, poeme (Martí, a poem), on the centenary of Cuba’s national hero, José Martí (Havana, 1953), 118 pp.; Kuba (Cuba) (Tel Aviv: Nay-lebn, 1983), 208 pp. Aronovski’s books were also translated into Spanish. He also contributed to Yiddish literary journals and weeklies in other countries. From 1980 he was living in Miami. Among his pseudonyms: Kh. Shaynlezen, A. A., Azoy-Heys-Ikh, A. Eliezer, and Tam.
Sources: Ts. Shpiro, in Oyfgang (February 1935); Y. Reznik, in Havaner lebn almanakh (September 1943), pp. 297-401; Enciclopedia Judaica Castelana (Mexico, 1948), p. 495.
I called him Zeyda. Such a great humanitarian. A brilliant mind. A chess master, but, most importantly, a loving father and grandfather.ReplyDelete
My grandmther always said she had a relative in cuba that was a poet, Eliezer. She never told us too much about her family, so who knows, maybe we are cousins :PDelete
That is very interesting. We look a bit similar :)Delete
I'm teaching a Yiddish class via Zoom in Australia about Cuban Yiddish Literature and we'll be reading one of Aronowski's short stories - Der Lamed-Vovnik! He wrote wonderful prose. I know his daughter Sarita Chiz - we both live in MIami Beach. It's too bad more people don't know about Aronowski's great talent as a poet and author.Delete