Tuesday 13 November 2018


KHAYIM FLAKS (1883-1940s)
            He was born in Plotsk (Płock), Poland.  Until age fourteen he studied in religious elementary school; later, through self-study he mastered Russian, Polish, and German.  Until seventeen he helped his father in the rag business.  He studied carpentry in a school for artisans in Warsaw.  For two years he concentrated on agriculture on an estate of a relative and played in an orchestra.  In 1904 he made his way to London, worked as a cigarette maker, and engaged in other trades as well.  In 1919 he arrived in the land of Israel and a year later returned to Płock, where he became a wagon driver, later a tailor, raised cows, sold their milk, and from this drew a poor living.  He wrote a great deal and published little.  He contributed, 1905-1906, to London periodicals.  Two of his pieces were published in Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter) and Arbeter (Laborer) in New York.  He published a series of poems, 1918-1919, in Y. M. Vaysnberg’s anthologies.  He also placed work in: Vilner tog (Vilna day), Shedletser vokhnblat (Siedlce weekly newspaper) under the pen name Avigdor Skalts, Vaysnberg’s Inzer hofening (Our hope), Forverts (Forward) in New York, and Plotsker lebn (Płock life) under the pseudonym Vayznfeld; and he was co-editor of Plotsker vort (Płock word) in 1936.  In book form: Mit zikh (With myself), stories (Płock, 1928), 69 pp.  He evinced a particular mastery in depicting animals.  He died during the Nazi occupation.

Sources: Sh. Kruk, in Płock (Płock) (Buenos Aires, 1945), pp. 137-38; Sh. Grinshpan, in Oyfsnay (New York) (Summer 1959); Grinshpan, in Yidn in plotsk (Jews in Płock) (New York, 1960), pp. 140-47.
Leyb Vaserman

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