Monday 7 December 2015


NAKHMEN DRUZDOV (NACHMAN DROSDOFF) (September 25, 1874-April 4, 1963)
            This was the adopted name of Nakhmen Drozdovski.  He was born in Lomzhe, Poland, to religiously observant but “enlightened” parents.  He received a Jewish education in religious elementary school and yeshivas, initially in Lomzhe and later in Volozhin, where he studied at the same desk as Hayim Naḥman Bialik.  In his youth, he became engrossed in Ḥibat-tsiyon (Love of Zion, early Zionist) thought and thereafter became active in the socialist Zionist movement in Grodno, Bialystok, and Warsaw.  In 1906 he emigrated to the United States and settled in Chicago, where he ran a spice business, was active in the Zionist labor movement and the labor union campaign, and in “Shoḥare sfat ever” (Friends of the Hebrew language).  He wrote a series of articles in the daily newspaper Der yidisher kuryer (The Jewish courier) in Chicago on the condition of the Jewish grocer.  From 1930 to 1946, he edited the monthly Der yidisher shpayz-soykher (The Jewish spice merchant), which appeared in Yiddish and English, in Chicago.  He authored the following books: Ekhod haam, shtrikhn fun zayn lebn, karakter un shafung (Aḥad Ha’am, features of his life, character, and work) (Chicago, 1940), 233 pp., second improved edition (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1959), 228 pp.; Der vidergeburt funem idntum, shtrikhn un bilder fun daytshn idishn lebn in ferstntn, fuftsntn, un zekhtsntn yorhundert (The rebirth of Judaism, features and images of German Jewish life in the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries) (Chicago, 1949), 123 pp., in which the author offered an apology for the goal of his research, “which depicts, according to Dr. M. Gideman, the period of the black plague which was similar to the contemporary Jewish destruction in many countries in the West”; Di yidn in italye in zeyer goldener tfuke (The Jews of Italy in their golden age), from the Middle Ages through 1492 (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1961), 124 pp.  From 1955 he became a resident of Israel and contributed pieces to Davar (Word), Di yidishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper), Letste nayes (Latest news), and other serials.  He died in Ḥolon.

Sources: A. Goldberg, in Zamlbukh, lekoved dem tsvey hundert un fuftsikstn yoyvl fun der yidisher prese 1686-1936 (Anthology in honor of the 250th jubilee of the Yiddish press, 1686-1936), ed. Dr. Y. Shatski (New York, 1937); Dr. A. Ginzburg, in Forverts (New York) (February 25, 1940); Kh. Grents, in Dos yidishe folk (New York) (March 15, 1940); N. Kravets, in Der yidisher kuryer (Chicago) (March 17, 1940); N. Y. Gotlib, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (February 16, 1941); L. Blank, in Der yidisher biznesman (Los Angeles) (August 1941); B. Shoḥetman, in Kiryat sefer (Jerusalem) 18 (1941), pp. 158-60; A. Regelson, in Hadoar (New York) (April 1942); L. Mishkin, in Pinkes shikago (Records of Chicago) (1942); H. Maytlis, in Chicago Jewish Chronicle (1942).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 202.]

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