EZRIEL PRESMAN (April 4, 1887-September 30, 1951)
He was born in Minsk, Byelorussia, to poor parents. At age twelve he had learned tailoring, and he attended lectures in the Saturday-Sunday school that Minsk intellectuals, headed by G. Gershunin, opened in 1899. He directed campaigning work on behalf of the Bund in Ihumen (Igumen, Chervyen’), Minsk province (1902-1906), for which he was deported to Siberia. He later served as secretary of the tailors’ union in Minsk; he was again arrested and in 1908 fled to the United States where he worked as a tailor. He was active there in the Jewish Socialist Federation in the Workmen’s Circle. He published memoirs in: Amerikaner (American), Der veker (The alarm), and Forverts (Forward) in New York. In 1943 he participated in a YIVO competition with a work entitled “Farvos ikh bin avek fun der alter heym un vos ikh hob dergreykht in amerike” (Why I left the old country and what I have accomplished in America); he received an award for it. Later, this work appeared in his book, Der durkhgegangener veg (The road traveled), with a foreword by Dr. M. Weinreich and pictures (New York, 1950), 204 pp.
Sources: P. Berman (M. Weinreich), in Forverts (New York) (April 16, 1950); M. Kligsberg, in Tsukunft (New York) (November 1950); M. Hurvits, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York) (February 1951); N. Khanin, in Der fraynd (New York) (February-March 1951); Y. Beshevis, in Forverts (April 12, 1953).
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