PEYSEKH NAKHLES (b. ca. 1874)
He hailed from Bessarabia, where his parents were farmers. On August 18, 1891, at age seventeen, he arrived with his parents in Argentina, settling in the colony of Palasios (Mozesville) and experiencing great hardship. Nakhles’s family suffered less than other colonists, because, as farmers in the old country, they brought with them articles from their village economy and also a bit of money. In 1892 YIKO (Jewish Cultural Organization) transferred them to Entre Rios in the furthest colony of San Antonio. He founded there the Juventud Israelita (Jewish youth), which was the first cultural grouping in the colony and gradually put together a library and a drama circle. He introduced sanitary living conditions. He also established a Zionist league. In 1909 he was among the first to join in the colony’s “Fondo Comunal” (Communal fund). For thirty years, he worked indefatigably for Jewish colonization. He was a poignant fighter against injustices caused by YIKO to the colonists and was considered by YIKO to be among the colonial rebels. He wrote articles for Yiddish newspapers in Argentina. He published historical and political pieces in Der kolonist (The colonist), published by Z. Brokhes. In 1914 he wrote a history of Jewish colonization in Argentina (120 handwritten pages)—a work encompassing thirty years of colonization, which he had himself experienced from day one. The work was never published because of its Germanized language and difficult style. In book form: Arum dem idishn kolonizatsyons vezn in argentine, geklibene konferentsen un maynungen arum kolonizatsyons fragen (On Jewish colonization in Argentina, selected conferences and opinions concerning issues of colonization) (Buenos Aires, 1926), 20 pp., with a preface by A. Zayd.
Sources: B. Hoykhman, Argentine (Argentina) (New York, 1938), p. 509; Hoykhman, Yidishe kolonizatsye un agrar-kooperatsye in argentine (Jewish colonization and agrarian cooperatives in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1961), pp. 97-98; Volf Bresler, Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), p. 932.