Tuesday 29 January 2019


YISROEL-AVROM KAHAN (September 19, 1888-1943)
            He was born in Goldingen (Kuldīga), Courland.  He received both a Jewish and a general education.  In 1906 he worked as night editor of Tsvi Pryłucki’s Der veg (The way) in Warsaw.  In 1907 he contributed to the first Yiddish newspaper in the Baltic region, Di natsyonal-tsaytung (The national newspaper).  In 1908 he settled in Lodz and became one of the main contributors to Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper).  In 1912 he was one of the founders of Dos lodzer morgenblat (The Lodz morning newspaper), under the editorship of Dr. Y. Gotlib, and later (until August 1914) under Dr. A. Mukdoni.  Over the years 1916-1920, he led the editorial board of his brother Lazar Kahan’s Lodzer folksblat (Lodz people’s newspaper) and a longer time with an evening newspaper Lodzer folksshtime (Lodz people’s voice).  From 1923 until July 1924, he served as editor of Nayer folksblat.  He also edited the Lodz daily, Idisher kuryer (Jewish courier), which appeared for only a short time, as well as Di ershte yidishe shokh-tsaytung (The first Jewish chess newspaper) in Lodz (1912, 5 issues), Di handlsvelt (The business world) (30 issues), and Lodzer merkur (Lodz Mercury) (1924, 30 issues).  He was the last editor of Warsaw’s Unzer ekspres (Our express).  At the start of WWII, he published in Lodzer tageblat (1908 and 1912) the novels Der idisher rekrut (The Jewish military recruit) and Thom fun zind (The abyss of sin).  He translated Afn krig (In the war [original: Na voinie]) by Vikenty Veresaev and Atlantida (Atlantida) by Pierre Benoit in Lodzer folksblat (1915, 1921), and Alroyne (Mandrake [original: Alraune]) by Hanns Ewers in Lodzer tageblat (1926).  He used dozens of pseudonyms, such as: Koyfman, Ben-Shimen, A. Frumes, Y. Goldinger, Kin, Iks, and Y. Kurland.  He died in the Lodz ghetto.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 5 (Mexico City, 1966); Yidishe shriftn (Lodz) (1946); Sh. Kahan, In fayer un flamen (In fire and flames) (Buenos Aires, 1949), pp. 27, 33-24ff; Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), pp. 199-203, 205-6, 226; Itonut yehudit shehayta (Jewish press that was) (Tel Aviv, 1973), see index.
Yekhezkl Lifshits

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