Monday 16 January 2017


RUVN COHEN (1899-October 1941)
            He was born in Vilna, son of a local rabbi, Avrom-Yankev Cohen, and grandson of the great scholar Rabbi Shloyme Hacohen.  He studied with his father and on his own.  While quite young, he became active in the “Tseire agudat yisrael” (Agudat Yisrael youth), later in the general Agudat Yisroel movement in Vilna.  In 1926 he wrote articles for the Vilna-based Aguda weekly newspaper, Dos vort (The word), of which he was later editor (1932-1939); he would later publish essays, images, and feature pieces in: Dos yudishe togblat (The Jewish daily newspaper) and Darkenu (Our way) in Warsaw; Beys-yankev-zhurnal (Beys Yankev journal) and Yudishe arbayter-shtime (Voice of Jewish labor) in Lodz; and other serials as well.  During the Nazi occupation, he was an employee in the labor office of the community committee in the Vilna ghetto.  He was a member of the speakers’ bureau of the Jewish literary society.  He wrote a piece—“Vilne, di shtot fun vilner goen” (Vilna, the city of the Vilna Gaon)—for a planned anthology in the ghetto.  He was killed by the Nazis during an Aktion of the “yellow passes” (gele shaynen).

Sources: Sh. Katsherginski, in Khurbn vilne (The Holocaust in Vilna) (New York, 1947), p. 181; Dr. M. Dvorzhetski (Mark Dvorzetsky), Yerusholayim delite in kamf un umkum (The Jerusalem of Lithuania in struggle and death) (Paris, 1948), p. 239; information from his cousin, Rabbi Leyzer Markeles, New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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