Wednesday 30 January 2019


YEKHIEL-MIKHL KOHN (Hanukah 1867-1939)
            He was born in Makove (Maków), Lomzhe district.  He received a stringent religious education.  He studied in Vilna yeshivas.  Due to a lack of piousness, he fled to Warsaw and there studied at Professor Dikshteyn’s senior high school.  In 1886 he departed for the United States.  He engaged in a variety of occupations, while also studying at universities.  In 1893 he graduated with a medical degree in Baltimore and practiced medicine in Brooklyn.  Impressed by the Haymarket trial in Chicago, he became an anarchist and would publicly campaign for his newfound ideas.  He debuted in print in 1886 with an article in Nyu-yorker yudishe folkstsaytung (New York Jewish people’s newspaper), edited by M. Mints and Dr. Braslavski.  He contributed as well to: A. Harkavy’s periodical Der izraelit (The Israelite); Der yudisher progress (Jewish progress) in Baltimore; London’s Arbayter fraynd (Workers’ friend); and Frayhayt (Freedom) in New York; among others.  He was connected to Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York from its founding in 1890 and published in it numerous articles on political economy, socialism, and cultural history.  He translated Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward in Arbayter fraynd and Peter Kropotkin’s Memuarn fun a revolutsyoner (Memoirs of a revolutionary) in Fraye arbeter shtime.  The latter appeared in book form as Kropotkins lebens-beshraybung (Kropotkin’s biography) (London, 1904), 430 pp.  He wrote a lengthy, critical biographical introduction to Y. Bovshover’s Gezamlte shriftn (Collected writings) (New York, 1911).  Among his pen names: Mikhael, M. Manson, Tiktin, and M. Lorber.  He died in La Jolla, California.

Sources: Zalemn Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Kalmen Marmor, Der onhoyb fun der yidisher literatur in amerike, 1870-1890 (The start of Yiddish literature in America, 1870-1890) (New York: Writers’ Section of IKUF, 1944), pp. 35, 37; Y. Kahan, Di yidishe anarkhistishe bavegung in amerike (The Jewish anarchist movement in the United States) (Philadelphia, 1945), p. 455; Y. Khaykin, Yidishe bleter in amerike (Yiddish newspapers in America) (New York, 1946), p. 236.
Yekhezkl Lifshits

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