Monday 1 October 2018


MORTKHE FORLERER (March 6, 1895-August 1943)
            He was born in Warsaw.  Until age nine he attended religious elementary school, later graduating from the Jewish artisanal school in Warsaw.  In 1914 he was living in Berlin, and with the outbreak of WWI he was arrested by the Germans.  With help from sailors, he fled aboard ship to Stockholm.  He was an archive clerk there at the Jewish press bureau founded by L. Khazagovitsh and Berl Loker.  At the time he studied Swedish philology and literature, and he translated from Yiddish and Polish for the Swedish press.  From 1920 he was back living in Warsaw.  He published translations from Swedish and Norwegian in: Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Velt shpigl (World mirror), Ilustrirte vokh (Illustrated week), Yugnt veker (Youth alarm), and Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper)—in Warsaw. He also translated from Yiddish into Swedish the work of Sholem Asch, Y. Perle, and other Yiddish writers.  His translations in book form include: Selma Lagerlöf, Di legende fun yesta berling (The legend of Gösty Berling [original: Legenda Gösta Berlinga]), part one (Warsaw: Kultur-lige, 1927), 364 pp., part two (Warsaw: Kultur-lige, 1927), 365 pp.; Selma Lagerlöf, Der keyser fun portugal (The emperor of Portugal [Kejsarn av Portugallien]) (Warsaw: Kultur-lige, 1929), 306 pp.  He also translated works by Dostoevsky and Panait Istrati, and he left in manuscript several translated plays by Swedish and Norwegian playwrights.  He also collected folklore and the terminology of craftsmen for YIVO in Vilna.  He was murdered in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Nazi occupation.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; M. Mozes, in Poylisher yid, yearbook (New York, 1944); Yidishe shriftn, anthology (Lodz, 1946); Yonas Turkov, Azoy iz es geven (That’s how it was) (Buenos Aires, 1948), p. 246; B. Mark, Umgekumene shrayber fun di getos un lagern (Murdered writers from the ghettos and camps) (Warsaw, 1954), pp. 54, 59.
Benyomen Elis

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