Monday 26 November 2018


KHATSKL FRAKER (1907-June 18, 1923)
            He was born in Vilkomir (Ukmergė), Lithuania.  He studied in religious elementary school and later in the Vilkomir Jewish high school.  He was crowned poet of the high school for the senior classes.  He began writing poetry at age thirteen.  He also translated poetry from Russian.  At age sixteen he drowned with three high school friends in the Vilkomir River.  In 1933, ten years after his death, there was published in Kovno under the editorship of Yudel Mark a collection of Fraker’s poems entitled Khatskl frakers lider, nokhn tsentn yor-tsayt (The poems of Khatskl Fraker, after the tenth anniversary of [his] death), 79 pp.
            “This is a noteworthy poetry collection,” wrote Yankev Glatshteyn, “which throws into relief the tragic elimination of a highly talented poet with a feel for word and music, which he demonstrated when he was a fourteen-year-old lad.  He fell firmly under the influence of classical Russian poetry.  He even innocently inserted lines of Pushkin and Lemontov, but he clearly had his own tone and had the makings of a poet who could electrify a mood with several well-chosen lines.”

Sources: N. Y. Gotlib, in Lite (Lithuania), vol. 1 (New York, 1951), p. 1104; Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (January 24, 1964).
Yankev Kahan

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