Sunday 24 February 2019


AVROM KASPE (July 1861-June 2, 1929)
            He was born, with the surname Mints, in Tsherikov (Cherykaw), Mogilev Province.  His family were descendants of the Spanish Jewish scholar Yosef Kaspe.  His father was a preacher who was murdered while on the road.  He studied in religious elementary school, yeshivas, and a Russian public school.  He graduated from high school in Vilna.  In 1882 he left for the United States with the group “Am Olam” (Eternal people [Russian Jewish agricultural colonists]).  He returned to Russia in 1888 and graduated from the natural science and mathematics faculty of St. Petersburg University.  In 1894 he emigrated once again to New York, where he received his medical degree.  He was a genuine folk doctor, greatly helping his poor patients with medical supplies and treating them for free.  He was active in the American Jewish socialist movement.  He contributed popular science and literary articles to: Der idisher hoyz-doktor (The Jewish house-doctor) in Warsaw; Sotsyal-demokrat (Social democrat) in 1900; Tsukunft (Future) which he co-edited for half a year in 1902; Di naye tsayt (The new times); Abend blat (Evening newspaper); Literatur un leben (Literature and life); and Emes (Truth) in Boston; among others.  He was one of the first contributors to the Forverts (Forward) and made his actual writing debut there.  In his last years, he grew close to the Jewish Communists and wrote for Frayhayt (Freedom).  In book form: Mekhanike, astronomye, khemya (Mechanics, astronomy, chemistry) (New York: International library, 1899-1900), 3 vols.; Fizik (Physics) (New York, 1914), 109 pp., subsequent editions in 1916 and 1917; Geologye (Geology) (New York: Education Committee of the Workmen’s Circle, 1918), 2 parts, 100 pp., 96 pp.; Di geshikhlakhe antviklung fun klasn gezelshaft (The historical development of class society) (New York: Union Square, 1929), 284 pp., comprised of a series of articles published in Frayhayt (January-February 1936).  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) 35 (1929); Tsukunft (New York) (July 29, 1929), an obituary; Av. Cahan, Bleter fun mayn leben (Pages from my life), vol. 3 (New York, 1926), p. 463; Yoyel Entin, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (October 17, 1943); American Jewish Yearbook (New York, 1929).
Yekhezkl Lifshits

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