Wednesday 15 June 2016


AB. VIKTOR (February 1871-July 12, 1954)
            The adopted name of Avrom Vigdorovitsh, he was born in Kartuz-Bereza, Byelorussia (it later belonged to Poland), into a religious family.  At age twenty he left for southern Russia, lived in and around Odessa, and worked as a teacher, assistant bookkeeper, and manager of a pharmacy.  He was a member of “Ḥoveve Tsiyon” (Lovers of Zion) in Odessa.  He was a correspondent for Hamelits (The advocate) and for the Russian Jewish Nedel׳naia khronika voskhoda (Weekly chronicle of the east) (St. Petersburg).  He moved to the United States in 1904, worked for over three years in cigar factories in Chicago, New York, and Detroit, later took a job in a pharmacy, and graduated from pharmacy school in Chicago.  He belonged to the Workmen’s Circle and later, in 1930, joined the International Workers’ Order.  The first poem that he published appeared in 1906 in the weekly Der nayer dor (The new generation) in Chicago, and thereafter he published poems, articles, and travel narratives in: Idishe arbayter-velt (Jewish workers’ world), Forverts (Forward), Tsayt-gayst (Spirit of the times), Naye velt (New world), Tsukunft (Future), Kundes (Prankster), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Fraynd (Friend), Di tsayt (The times), Idisher sotsyalist (Jewish socialist), Detroyter vokhnblat (Detroit weekly newspaper), Frayhayt (Freedom), Hamer (Hammer), Funk (Spark), Ikor (IKOR [Yidishe kolonizatsye organizatsye in rusland (Jewish colonial organization in Russia)]), Ikor-yorbukh (IKOR annual), and Zamlbikher (Anthologies), among others.  He lived in New York, Chicago, Detroit, and from 1937 until his death in Los Angeles.  His books include: Garbn, poemes un lider, 1907-1919 (Sheaves of grain, poetry, 1907-1919) (New York, 1920), 258 pp.; Rondzhe-grobyanko (New York, 1926), 32 pp.; In sovetishn geboy, bashraybungen un ayndrukn fun a rayze ibern sovetnfarband in harbst fun yor 1929 (Amid Soviet construction, descriptions and impressions of a trip through Soviet Russia in the autumn of the year 1929) (New York, 1931), 256 pp.; Ikh ze a land, lider un poemes, 1921-1942 (I see a country, poetry, 1921-1942) (New York, 1942), 160 pp.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; B. Y. Byalostotski, in Di tsayt (New York) (January 9, 1921); Y. Entin, Yidishe poetn (Yiddsh poets), part 2 (New York, 1927), pp. 316-18; William Abrams, in Hamer (New York) (December 1931); Al. Pomerants, in Proletpen (Proletarian pen) (Kiev, 1935), pp. 204, 205; Y. Fridman, “Ab. viktor in zayne letste yorn” (Ab. Viktor in his last years), Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (December 26, 1954); Sh. Sekuler, in Yidishe kultur (New York) (New York) (January 1955); Amerike in yidishn vort antologye (America in Yiddish, an anthology) (New York, 1955), see index.
Aleksander Pomerants

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