Sunday 27 September 2015


AVROM-YITSKHOK GRAFMAN (April 1891-1941/1942)
            He was born in Yadov (Jadów), Warsaw region, Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school and in a yeshiva, later graduating from a middle school in Warsaw.  In 1910 he began to publish poems and sketches in various Yiddish newspapers in Warsaw.  From 1912 he was a regular contributor to Moment (Moment) in Warsaw, for which he wrote feature pieces and topical articles.  He published the anthologies Friling (Spring), Goldene shtraln (Golden rays), and In shvere tsaytn (In difficult times) (Warsaw, 1917), among others.  In 1921 he joined the Jewish People’s Party in Poland and edited (1921-1922) the popular weekly newspaper Di idishe tribune (The Jewish tribune).  In 1924 he began to publish the popular magazine Di ilustrirte vokh (The illustrated week).  With the outbreak of WWII, he left for Vilna.  Having no time to escape when the Germans took Lithuania, he was killed in 1941 or 1942.  Among his books: Zangen, lider (Stalks of corn, poems) (Warsaw, 1921), 80 pp.  He also wrote under the pseudonyms: Izidor G., A. Giml, Dr. A. Gloyber, and the like.  He was one of the dynamic new journalists and new editors in the Warsaw press, with a strong sense for the sensational.  He would powerfully dramatize and even poeticize his news reporting.  He was confined to the Riga ghetto and was deported from there to his death in Auschwitz.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Dr. R. Feldshuh, Yidisher gezelshaftlekher leksikon (Jewish community handbook) (Warsaw, 1939), vol. 1; Z. Segalovitsh, Tlomatske draytsn (13 Tłomackie St.) (Buenos Aires, 1946); M. Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 2 (Montreal, 1947).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 173.]

1 comment:

  1. Have any of AVROM-YITSKHOK poems been translated into English? My husband's Aunt Adele Gryholc Jochelson met Avrom in Vilnius after the city was overtaken by the Germans. He said that he had been able to escape from Warsaw and wanted to travel to the Kovno Ghetto with their family. He helped Adele and her little sister Tola Grynholc Urbach to survive at the ghetto until he was likely selected for one of the two Riga Aktions for slave labor (Feb 6, 1942; Oct 20-22, 1942). The two sisters never learned what had happened to him. Miraculously, the two sisters are still alive and living in New Jersey.