Tuesday 8 January 2019


NEKHEMYE TSUKER (NECHEMIAS ZUCKER) (November 3, 1894-December 24, 1973)
            He was born in Gduv (Gdów), near Cracow, to a Hassidic-rabbinic family.  At age three, his parents brought him to Cracow.  He studied in Radomirski’s small synagogue.  Later, as he read through Dinezon’s Even negef, oder a shteyn in veg (A stumbling block in the path), he “broke down” and began to devote himself to secular subject matter.  He left for Bielsko-Biała and went to work there for a business.  In 1914 he was taken into the Austrian military.  Wounded on the front, he returned home.  He began writing poetry, humorous sketches, and stage scenes that he would later published in Der lustiker yud (The cheerful Jew).  He was also the Cracow correspondent for Lemberg’s Togblat (Daily newspaper), using the pen name Tsohar.  He was the founder and manager of the Cracow drama circle.  His play Der korbn fun fanatizm (The victim of fanaticism) was performed in a Cracow theater.  In May 1923 he moved to Buenos Aires, tried to be a hat maker, sold merchandise door-to-door, and later opened a shop of all sorts of things.  When he came to Argentina, he began contributing to the Spanish Jewish weekly Mundo izraelita (Jewish world), edited by Shakhne Reznik and Kibrik.  His articles were translated into Spanish.  He published satirical ditties in the humorous weekly Penemer un penemlekh (Appearances, big and small), Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper), and co-edited the daily newspaper Argentiner tog (Argentinian day), as well as Der shpigl (The mirror) (1930) and Morgntsaytung (Morning newspaper) (1935-1939).  He also published in and edited with Sh. Freylekh a humor weekly entitled Khikhetlile (Laughter)—ten issues appeared—and later by himself he published the journal Kundes (Prankster)—through 1934, with 165 issues.  With N. Frukhter, he edited Almanakh fun farband fun galitsyaner yidn (Almanac of the association of Galician Jews) (1926); Yorbukh fun yidishn yishev in argentine (Yearbook of the Jewish community in Argentina) (1945-1946); Gedenkbukh galitsye (Memory volume for Galicia) (Buenos Aires, 1961); and the journal Teater (Theater); among other items.  In book form: Di khalitse, drame in dray aktn (Release from the obligation of levirate marriage, a drama in three acts) (Cracow, 1922), 56 pp.; Ven di nakht falt tsu, Afn kamf (When night falls; In the struggle), two one-act plays (Buenos Aires, 1924), 32 pp.; Der retsenzent (The reviewer) (Buenos Aires, 1926), 16 pp.; Far dramkrayzn, eynaḳṭers un stsenirungen (For drama circles, one-act plays and scenarios) (Buenos Aires: Der kundes, 1933), 174 pp.; Shpas un ernst (In jest and seriousness) (Buenos Aires, 1933), 173 pp.; In nomen fun gerekhtikeyt, tragedye in dray aktn (In the name of justice, a tragedy in three acts) (Buenos Aires, 1935), 55 pp.; Fun alts tsu bislekh, skitsn un dertseylungen (A little of everything, skits and stories) (Buenos Aires: Der kundes, 1935), 127 pp.; Fabrikantn. Komedye in eyn akt (Factories, a comedy in one act) (Buenos Aires, 1937), 29 pp.; Fir doyres idish teater, di lebns-geshikhte fun zina rapel (Four generation of Yiddish theater, the biography of Zina Rapel), a novel (Buenos Aires, 1944), 478 pp.; Tsvishn nekhtn un morgn, dertseylungen un a drame (Between yesterday and tomorrow, stories and a play) (Buenos Aires, 1946), 202 pp.; Muter un kind, roman fun idishn imigrantn-leben in b. ayres (Mother and child, a novel of Jewish immigrant life in B[uenos] Aires) (Buenos Aires, 1946), 155 pp.; Shif atlanta, roman fun yidishn imigrantn-lebn in argentine, in fir teyln (The ship Atlanta, a novel of immigrant Jewish life in Argentina, in four parts), 2 volumes (Buenos Aires, 1952-1954), 244 pp. + 250 pp.; Af naye relsn, dertseylungen fun yidishn lebn in argentine (On new rails, stories of Jewish life in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1956), 232 pp.  In 1963 he made a voyage to the United States.  He died in Buenos Aires.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (May 19, 1933); Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentine (The published Yiddish word in Argentina), vol. 1 (Buenos Aires, 1941), pp. 105, 117, 136, 167, 237, 248; Y. Mestl, in Yivo-bleter (New York) 25 (1945); G. Aronson, in Tsukunft (New York) (March 1951); Literarishe bleter (Buenos Aires) (July-August 1964); Y. Botoshanski, in Folk un velt (New York) (September 1961); Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (July 3, 1964); Dr. L. Zhitnitski, in Di prese (May 31, 1964); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (December 3, 1965); Shtarkman, in Folk un velt (November 1965).
Yankev Kahan

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