Friday 23 February 2018


KHANE (HANNAH, CHANE, ANNE) SAFRAN (b. January 4, 1902)
            She was born in Shedlets (Siedlce), Poland.  She graduated from a municipal school and attended evening Hebrew courses.  At age ten she began to learn a trade.  In 1916 she arrived in the United States, where she worked by day and studied in the evenings.  She debuted in print with a poem “Bist far mir a vunder” (You’re a wonder to me) in Nay lebn (New life) in New York (1936), and from that point her poetry appeared in: Morgn-frayhayt (Morning freedom), Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), Yidish amerike (Jewish America), and Zamlungen (Anthologies)—in New York; Naye prese (New press) in Paris; and Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings) and Folks-shtime (Voice of the people) in Warsaw.  Her poems were also published in the anthology Amerike in yidishn vort (America in the Yiddish word) (New York, 1955).  In book form: Nitsokhn (Triumph), poetry (New York: Khane Safran Book Committee, 1946), 128 pp.; Haynt (Today), poetry (New York: IKUF, 1950), 144 pp.; Likhtike shtromen, lider un poemes (Bright currents, poetry) (New York: IKUF, 1960), 190 pp.; Dos lebn ruft (Life calls) (New York: IKUF, 1968), 190 pp.  In addition, Morgn-frayhayt published her novels—Di tentserin (The female dancer) (1952), Vivyen un ire fraynt (Vivian and her friend) (1954), and Eltern un kinder (Parents and children) (1971-1972)—and her memoir Ikh gedenk, fun mayne ershte zeks yor in amerike (I remember, from my first six years in America).  She also published stories and travel impressions.  She kept a diary (1914-1916), published [in Polish] in 2011 as: Dziennik Anny Kahan: Siedlce, 1914-1916 (Anna Kahan’s journal: Siedlce, 1914-1916) (Siedlce: Stowarzyszenie Tutajteraz, 2011), 410 pp.  She also wrote two dramas: Dos hekhste gezets (The highest law, 1932) and Dos fayer fun lebn (The ardor of life, 1952).  In 1957 she settled in Miami Beach.  In 1961 she received an award for her song “Eybrehem linkoln” (Abraham Lincoln) in a competition run by the Jewish music association in New York.  In 1962 she visited the state of Israel, Soviet Russia, and Poland.  Her poems were also republished in various newspapers and journals outside of the United States.  She also wrote in English: The Fireborn (New York: Vantage Press, 1963), 270 pp.  Her poems in English translation by A. Schmuller are included in her work Crossing the Borderland: Poems, Prose Poems, and Poetical Translations (London, 1959) and in Three contemporary Poets: Delina Margot-Parle, Aaron Schmuller, Grace Gilombardo Fox (New York, 1960).  She was last living in Miami Beach.

Sources: A. Pomerants, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (June 23, 1946); Sore Kindman, “Der mame-motiv bay amerikaner yidishe dikhterins” (The mother motif among American Yiddish poetesses), Yidishe kultur (New York) (1947), pp. 54-55; B. Ts. Hibel, in Undzer veg (Munich) 235 (1948); Moyshe Kats, in Morgn-frayhayt (December 3, 1950); Z. Vaynper, in Yidishe kultur (April 1957); Y. B. Beylin, in Morgn-frayhayt (August 28, 1960); Kh. Slutska-Kestin, in Fraye yisroel (Tel Aviv) (September 1, 1960); A. Shklyar, in Folks-shtime (Warsaw) (April 25, 1961); Y. Furmanski, in Naye prese (Paris) (June 10, 1962); Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York, 1962); Sh. Almanzov, in Zamlungen (New York) 31 (1964).
Benyomen Elis

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 397.]

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