Sunday 24 April 2016


            He was born in Vilna, Lithuania.  His father Nokhum Vapner was a bookkeeper in the Vilna Jewish community and a leader in secular Jewish school curricula.  Kalmen graduated from a secular Jewish school and the senior Jewish high school in Vilna.  He lived in France, 1930-1936, where he studied at the Polytechnic in Cannes and became an engineer.  He returned to Poland in 1936, but because of the anti-Semitic politics of the government he was unable to gain any posting.  He was an active leader and secretary of the Bundist children’s organization SKIF (Sotsyalistishe kinder-farband, or Socialist children’s union) in Poland.  He administered the summer colonies and children’s camps.  He published articles on children’s education and child psychology in: Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), Kleyne folkstsaytung (Little people’s newspaper), Yugnt-veker (Youth alarm), and Khavershaft (Friendship)—he was a regular contributor to the last of these—in Warsaw.  He authored a volume entitled Shpil un farvaylung (Play and recreation), with Y. Grundman and M. Gilinski (Warsaw, 1938), 184 pp.  In 1939 when the Germans were approaching Warsaw, he left for Vilna where he was active in the illegal Bundist youth movement.  When the NKVD carried out arrests in 1940 of Vilna Bundists, he escaped to Riga where until March 1941 he lived illegally.  He then disappeared without a trace.  He also published under the pen names: Kiv and Kalmen.

Source: M. K. (Kligsberg), Doyres bundistn (Generations of Bundists), vol. 2 (New York, 1956), see index.

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