Monday 27 April 2015


AḤARON BEN-TSIYON GAVZE (February 25, 1876-October 1942)
            He was born in Lekhevitsh (Pol. Lachowicze; Bel. Lyakhavichy), Baranovichi region, Poland.  He received a traditional Jewish education.  He studied in the yeshivas of Minsk, Kovno, Vilna, and Slobodka.  He was supposed to become a rabbi, but after his father’s death, he devoted himself to learning Hebrew and secular subject matter.  In 1894 he became a clerk in the Warsaw synagogue library.  That same year, he began publishing correspondence pieces in Hamelits (The advocate) under the pseudonym “Aguz.”  In 1907 he became a contributor to Hatsfira (The siren).  He was its night editor, writer of Warsaw local news, editor of provincial news, and also the proofreader.  In 1908 he became an internal contributor and night editor of Warsaw’s Haynt (Today), where he worked until the tragic end of his life.  From 1917 forward, he edited the Warsaw local news.  In times of police persecutions, when Haynt was confiscated, closed, and often had to appear under another name and another editor, he was the editor of Tog-nayes (Daily news).  In 1938 he was on the managing committee and supervisory council of the cooperative “Altnay” (Old-new), which published Haynt on a cooperative basis.  During WWII, when the Germans occupied Warsaw, he remained in the Warsaw Ghetto.  He stood at the head of aid work on behalf of Jewish writers and their families, who stayed in the Warsaw Ghetto.  He was taken during an Aktion in the summer of 1942, and during the first planned deportation of Warsaw Jews (in October 1942), he took potassium cyanide at Umschlagplatz (collection point in Warsaw for deportation).

Gavze is seated in the lower right corner

Sources: Dr. R. Feldshuh, Yidisher gezelshaftlekher leksikon (Jewish communal handbook) (Warsaw, 1939); Sh. Pyetrushke, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (May 27, 1943); M. Mozes, in Poylisher yid (New York) (June 1944); R. Oyerbakh, in Kidesh hashem (Sanctification of the name), ed. Shmuel Niger (New York, 1946); Y. Turkov, Azoy is es geven (That’s how it was) (Buenos Aires, 1948); A. Levin, in Bleter far geshikhte (Pages for history), quarterly 7.1 (Warsaw, 1954); B. Mark, Umgekumene shrayber fun di getos un lagern (Murdered writers from the ghettos and camps) (Warsaw, 1954); B. Kutsher, Geven amol Varshe (As Warsaw once was) (Paris, 1955); M. Grosman, “Haynt” (Today), Fun noentn over (New York) 2 (1956).

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