Monday 28 March 2016


NOKHUM HERMAN (January 10, 1889-June 1944)
            He was born in Shargorod (Szarogród, Sharhorod), Podolia, into a rabbinic family.  In 1903 he moved to Odessa to study in the yeshiva of Khayim Tshernovits (Chaim Czernowitz), and he quickly became a socialist.  In 1905 during a pogrom, he took an active role in Jewish self-defense.  In 1912 he moved to Paris, studied in the Sorbonne, and was the founder of a Zionist student union and a Hebrew club.  In 1921 he went to Russia to administer relief by the Jewish World Conference for Jewish victims of hunger.  After returning from Russia, he was a member of the Parisian Zionist Committee and a delegate to Zionist congresses.  He was director of the Jewish National Fund for France.  He began his journalistic activities in 1912 with articles in Razsviet (Dawn) and Hatsfira (The siren).  He later switched to Yiddish.  He contributed pieces to Parizer haynt (Paris today) and Haynt (Today) in Warsaw, and from 1921 until his death he was Paris correspondent for Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) in New York.  He also placed pieces in Davar (Word) and Haarets (The land) in Tel Aviv, and in Le Temps in Paris (from 1920).  He was the main contributor and editor of La Renaissance Juive and Le Peuple Juif.  When the Germans in 1940 were approaching Paris, he left for Vichy where he secretly led an aid effort for Jews escaping from regions of occupied France.  When the United States joined the war, he had as a correspondent for an American newspaper to leave Vichy; he lived for a while in Cannes, later in Limoges where he administered the illegal transporting of Jews to Switzerland and Italy.  On January 19, 1944 he was arrested by the Gestapo, and one month later he was sent to the camp in Drancy.  On March 10 that same year, he and a large group of Jews were deported to Auschwitz and there killed.  On April 25, 1954 the central headquarters of the Jewish National Fund in Jerusalem opened a library in his name in Noaḥ-Ilan.

Sources: M. Yarblum, in Unzer vort (Paris) (March 10, 1947; March 10, 1948); Y. Fisher, in La Terre Retrouvée (Paris) (February 1946); Rokhl Herman (Nokhum Herman’s wife), in Unzer vort (March 10, 1947; January 19, 1954; January 19, 1955); Rokhl Herman, in Libre Parole (Paris) (February 1946); G. Kohen, in Unzer vort (March 10, 1947); Y. Milner, in Di naye prese (Paris) (March 27, 1947); Borvin-Frenkel, in Unzer shtime (Paris) (November 18, 1955); A. Fogel, in Unzer vort (January 20-21, 1956).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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