Sunday 10 February 2019


AVROM KANTOR (b. July 27, 1886)

            He was a journalist and translator, born in Dubrovne (Dubrowna), Grodno district. He studied in Białystok and Vilna yeshivas. Early on he worked as a typesetter and joined the revolutionary movement. He fled from Russia and studied in Beirut (Lebanon) and later in Constantinople. For a short time, he lived in the land of Israel, later in London. From 1911 he was writing for Arbayter fraynd (Workers’ friend) in London and Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York. After the February Revolution in 1917, he worked for a number of foreign émigré organizations, among them the Russian Delegate Committee in London which took up the job of seeing that Russian political émigrés be able to return to Russia. After the October Revolution, he went to Petrograd and was drawn into working there for the first Soviet Yiddish newspaper Vorheyt (Truth) as a technical editor. He went on to write for such serial publications as: Shtern (Star) in Minsk, Frayer arbeter (Free laborer) in Vitebsk, and Shmuel Niger’s Kultur un bildung (Culture and education) in Moscow, among others. He was a contributor as well to Shabes nayes (Saturday news) in Vilna and for short time to Vilner tog (Vilna day), and he worked as a teacher there in an evening school run by the group “Hilf durkh arbet” (Help through work). He would later teach in and administer a Jewish school near Kovno. From 1920, he contributed to the Moscow newspaper Emes (Truth) as a translator. He engaged primarily in translating works by Communist leaders, such as: Tetikeyt un perspektivn fun komintern (The activity and perspectives of the Comintern), by Eugen Varga and Grigori Zinoviev (Moscow: Shul un bukh, 1924), 110 pp.; Der veg tsum sotsyalizm un der arbeter-poyerisher bund (The path to socialism and the labor-farmer union [original: Putʹ k sotsializmu i raboche-krestʹianskii soiuz]), by Nikolai Bukharin (Moscow: Central People’s Publishers, USSR, 1926), 106 pp.; Di protokoln fun’m 14 partey-tsuzamenfar (The protocols of the fourteenth party conference), by Nikolai Bukharin, supplement to Emes (Moscow, 1926), 118 pp.; Der sotsyal-demokratisher opnoyg in der alk”p(b) (The social democratic deviation in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Bolsheviks), by Joseph Stalin (Moscow: Shul un bukh, 1927), 171 pp.; and other political and scholarly books and pamphlets.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3.

Yekhezkl Lifshits

[Additional information from: Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), p. 318.]

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