MARK TURKOV (MAREK TURKOW) (May 11, 1904-April 29, 1983)
He was born in Warsaw, Poland, the brother of Zigmunt, Yonas, and Yitskhok Turkov. He studied in religious elementary school and in Krinski’s Polish-Jewish High School. In Warsaw he studied in schools for drama and film as well. Over the years 1922-1939, he was an internal contributor to, and for a time co-editor of, Moment (Moment) in Warsaw, its political reporter in the Polish Sejm, and its special correspondent in the League of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. He contributed as well to the Polish-Lithuanian peace negotiations in Königsberg in 1928. He was general secretary, 1933-1938, of the anti-Hitler committee in Poland. From 1939 he was living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Over the years 1946-1954, he was director of HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), and from 1954 he was the Argentinian representative to the Jewish World Congress. He served as president of the South American Federation of Polish Jews and vice-president of the World Union of Polish Jewry. He was cofounder of the publishing house of “Polish Jewry” (Dos poylishe yidntum) in Buenos Aires. Aside from his writings for Moment in Warsaw, he published as well in: Yidish teater (Yiddish theater) (1921-1927), Yidishe bine (The Yiddish stage), a monthly of the Jewish artists’ association in Poland (1924), Der telegraf (The telegraph), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), and Radyo (Radio)—in Warsaw; and Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires; as well as other Yiddish newspapers in Argentina, Canada, Israel, and France. He also contributed to the Polish Jewish press in Warsaw: Nasz Przegląd (Our overview), Tygodnik żydowski (Jewish weekly), and Życie żydowska (Jewish life), in which, aside from articles, he published translations from Yiddish literature and analyses of them. Among his published book-length works: A vide, dramatisher etyud in eyn akt (A confession of sins, dramatic study in one act) (Warsaw, 1922), 16 pp.; Dantsig af a vulkan (Dantzig on a volcano) (Warsaw, 1932), 64 pp. (also appeared in Polish [see below]); Ruzvelts amerike, ayndurkn fun a rayze iber di fareynikte shtatn (Roosevelt’s America, impressions from a trip to the United States) (Warsaw, 1937), 111 pp.; Af yidishe felder, a nesie iber di yidishe kolonyes in argentine (On Jewish fields, a trip to the Jewish colonies in Argentina) (Warsaw, 1939), 199 pp., two editions; Malke ovshyani dertseylt, khronik fun undzer tsayt (Malka Owsiany recounts, chronicle of our time) (Buenos Aires, 1946), 172 pp. [in Spanish translation by Israel Laustein as: Malka Owsiany relata, crónicas de nuestro tiempo (Buenos Aires, 2001), 212 pp.]; Di letste fun groysn dor, geshikhtlekhe epizodn un perzenlekhe zikhroynes ṿegn yidishe mishpokhes in poyln (The last of a great generation, historical episodes and personal memoirs of Jewish families in Poland) (Buenos Aires, 1954), 350 pp. He also published translations of a number of one-act plays. In Polish he published in book form: Polacy, Żydzi i Mechesi (Poles, Jews, and apostates) (Warsaw, 1930), 15 pp.; Gdańsk na wulkanie (Gdansk [Danzig] on a volcano) (Warsaw, 1932), 54 pp.; Rewolucja amerykańska (szkice z podróży po Stanach Zjednoczonych Ameryki Płn.) (The American Revolution, sketches from a trip to the United States of America) (Warsaw, 1937), 141 pp. He was also editor of the one-off journals Der telegraf and Der nayer telegraf (The new telegraph) (Warsaw, 1928); and he contributed to the Shmerke katsherginski ondenk-bukh (Memoirs of Shmerke Katsherginski) (Buenos Aires, 1955). He authored the explanations and introduction to Briv fun ester-rokhl kaminska (Letters from Esther-Rokhl Kaminski) (Vilna, 1927), 158 pp. With the twenty-fifth book to appear from the publisher “Polish Jewry,” he composed the brochure, Dos poylishe yidntum (Buenos Aires, 1947), 22 pp. He also wrote under such pen names as: M. Turi and Maritur. He died in Buenos Aires.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol.1; Z. Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934); Y. Lifshits, in Arkhiv tsu der geshikhte fun yidishn teater un drame (Archive for the history of Yiddish theater and drama), vol. 1 (New York, 1930), p. 510; Z. Segalovitsh, Tlomatske 13, fun farbrentn nekhtn (13 Tłomackie St., of scorched yesterdays) (Buenos Aires, 1946), p. 102; Dr. L. Zhitnitski, in Ikuf (Buenos Aires) 5 (1956); M. D. Giser, in Dos yidishe vort (Santiago de Chile) (May 31, 1946); Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 2 (Montreal, 1947), p. 230; P. Shvarts, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York) (April 1, 1947); Sh. Katsherginski, in Arbeter vort (Paris) (October 31, 1947); Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (August 20, 1951; August 22, 1954); A. L. Shusheym, in Di idishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (August 13, 1954); A. Zak, in Di idishe tsaytung (August 27, 1954); Y. Leshtshinski, in Forverts (New York) (October 31, 1954; November 11, 1954); L. Kheyn, in Nayvelt (Tel Aviv) (December 24, 1954); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Kultur un dertsiung (January 1955); Y. Pat, in Tsukunft (New York) (March 1955); A. Lis, in Unzer haynt (Tel Aviv) (June 17, 1955); Dr. Y. Shatski, in Yivo-bleter (New York) 39 (1955), pp. 368-69; P. Shteynvaks, Siluetn fun a dor (Silhouettes of a generation) (Buenos Aires, 1958), pp. 175-78; Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (July 29, 1960); Y. Shmulevitsh, in Forverts (September 15, 1951); A. Glants, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (September 17, 1961); P. Kadishzon (Shteynvaks), in Keneder odler (Montreal) (September 22, 1961); M. Nudelman, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (October 3, 1961).
Khayim Leyb Fuks