Monday, 1 September 2014


HERTS AKTSIN (March 16, 1893-August 25, 1956)
Born in Boltinov in the Latgal section of Latvia.  He later moved to Riga, and from there to Moscow at the time of WWI, returning to Riga in the early 1920s.  From 1913 he was writing stories, feature essays, and humorous holiday pieces.  In 1917 he founded in Narve (Narva) the publishing house of Khaver (Comrade) which, under his editorship, published partially in his own translation anthologies of non-Yiddish literature (Mark Twain, Leo Tolstoy, de Maupassant, Aleksandr Kuprin, Edward Bellamy) as well as political pamphlets: Ver zaynen es bolskevikes un menshevikes? (Who are the Bolsheviks and who the Mensheviks?); Dos muz visn yeder frayer birger, di melukhe-ordenung in frankraykh, england, amerike, un shvayts (Every citizen must know this: Civil order in France, England, America, and Swtitzerland) (Moscow,: Khaver, 1917), 20 pp.; Mesholim (far kleyne kinder) (Fables for small children) following Leo Tolstoy (Moscow: Khaver, 1918), 15 pp.; Der prints under betler (The Prince and the Pauper) following Mark Twain (Moscow: Khaver, 1918), 48 pp.; Kapitalizm un prostitutsye (Capitalism and prostitution) by August Babel, and others as well.  He also authored: Di geverb-kooperatsye fun ukraine (The industrial cooperatives of Ukraine) (Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1940), 45 pp.  In 1920 he was a contributor to the daily Riga newspaper Dos folk (The people).  In 1922, together with other contributors, he left this newspaper and published a pamphlet entitled Di gele prese (The yellow press).  From 1923 on he was an editorial contributor to various Riga Yiddish newspapers and magazines, such as: Di naye tsayt (The new times), Letste nayes (Late news), Frimorgn (Morning), Nay-erd (New land), and Di vokh (The week), among others; and he edited the humor magazines, Ashmodai and Grine riter (Green rods, between 1922 and 1929).  During the Nazi era, he appears to have survived in Soviet Russia, in Tashkent.  After the war he returned to Riga where he subsequent died.  His subsequent fate is unknown.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; M. Gerts, 25 yor yidishe prese in letland (25 years of the Yiddish press in Latvia) (Riga, 1933), p. 60; Daniel Tsharni, A yortsendlik aza, 1914-1924, memuarn (Such a decade, 1914-1924, memoirs) (New York, 1943), p. 228; A. Riger, Yizker-almanakh fun riger relif (Memory almanac from Riga relief) (New York, 1948).

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