AVROM-ISER YOSKOVITSH (1909-Winter 1942)
He was born in a village in Lomzhe district, Poland, to a father who was a cantor and ritual slaughterer and who wrote his own music to prayers and poems. Until age fifteen he studied in religious elementary school, in the Lomshe yeshiva, and later in the Tachkemoni high school in Bialystok. In 1932 he moved to Vilna and studied in the Conservatory and Hebrew teachers’ seminary there. In 1933 he began to publish with a poem, “Muzik-geoynim” (Music of brilliant men), in Di tsayt (The times) in Vilna, and later he contributed to: Haynt (Today) and Baderekh (On the road) in Warsaw; Tsukunft (Future) and Hadoar (The mail) in New York; Haolam (The world) in London; Gelim (Mantle) and Zeramim (Currents) in Vilna; Teḥumim (Boundaries) in Lodz; and the like. He wrote music to a portion of his own poems and published the collection Lider mit melodyes (Poems with melodies) (Vilna, 1937), 64 pp. During WWII, when Vilna was under the Lithuanians, he directed a radio choir and spoke over radio about Jewish music. Later, under the Nazis, he lived for a time in a village near Vilna, presenting himself as a Pole, until the Gestapo seized and killed him in the winter of 1942. In his memory a group of Hebrew writers published his collected Peraḥim nugim (Sad flowers) (Tel Aviv, 1949), 98 pp., which includes as well a selection of his poetry. A number of his poems were also reprinted in Udim (Firebrands) in Jerusalem (1960), pp. 156-63.
Sources: Dr. M. Dvorzhetski (Mark Dvorzetsky), Yerusholaim delite in kamf un umkum (The Jerusalem of Lithuania in struggle and death) (Paris, 1948), p. 245; Sefer milḥamot hagetaot (The fighting ghettos) (Tel Aviv, 1954), p. 730; preface to Peraḥim nugim (Sad flowers) (Tel Aviv, 1949); N. Yoskovitsh-Malinyak, in the anthology Lomzhe (Lomzhe) (New York, 1957), pp. 238-39; Avrom liessin-arkhiv (Avrom Liessin archive) (New York, YIVO).
Khayim Leyb Fuks