ARN MAKAGON (1898-March 15, 1963)
He was a teacher, current events writer, and community leader, born in Uman, Ukraine. He attended Kiev University and worked at the Ukrainian Scientific Institute for Pedagogy. At age fifteen he began his teaching work in village schools, later as a teacher in Uman, and later still as a school inspector in Uman. From 1920 to 1928, he was inspector for the Commissariat for Education in Kharkov. Over the years 1928-1932, he served as editor for the children’s newspaper Zay greyt (Get ready) in Kharkov and the journal Ratnbildung (Soviet education). He was head of the Party section for scholarship and higher education for the Kharkov region (1932-1934), and until 1937 he was head of the school administration and leader of the methodology section of the People’s Commissariat of Education in Ukraine. In 1937 he was purged and deported to a camp in Kazakhstan. After being freed, he spent the last years of his life in Siberia in the city of Rubtsovsk in the Altai region, where he was in charge of technical education in an Altai tractor factory.
Together with A. Shprakh, he compiled Politufkler-arbet in shtetl, hantbukh far yidishe politufkler-tuer (Political educational work in towns, handbook for Jewish activists in political education) (Kiev: Kultur-lige, 1928), 139 pp.; and with Leyb Mishkovski, he edited Kamf un oyfboy, khrestomatye farn 5tn lernyor fun der arbet-shul (Struggle and construction, reader for the fifth school year in the workers’ school) (Kharkov: Central Publishers, 1928), 423 pp. He also wrote: Antireligyezer kultur-marsh (Anti-religious cultural march) (Kharkov: Central Publishers, 1929), 36 pp.; Kegn got un zayne diner (Against God and his servants) (Moscow: Central Publishers, 1929), 28 pp.; with L. Mishkovski, A. Spivak, and H. Kozakevitsh, In kamf, arbetbukh af shprakh, literatur un gezelshaftkentenish (In the struggle, workbook in language, literature, and social information) (Kharkov: Central Publishers, 1930), 248 pp.; with H. Kozakevitsh, In kamf, arbetbukh af shprakh un gezelshaftkentenish far 3tn lernyor (In the struggle, workbook in language and social information for the third school year) (Kharkov: Central Publishers, 1931) 342 pp. + 6 pp.; with Elye Spivak and H. Kozakevitsh, Arbetbukh af shprakh, literatur un gezelshaftkentenish farn fertn lernyor (Workbook in language, literature, and social information for the fourth school year) (Kiev: Kultur-lige, 1931), 447 pp.
Sources: Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; Sovetish heymland (Moscow) 3 (May-June 1963), chronology.
[Additional information from: Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 226-27.]