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ABRAHAM SUTZKEVER ( Yiddish
Yiddish
: אַבֿרהם סוצקעווער — Avrom Sutskever; Hebrew
Hebrew
: אברהם סוצקבר; July 15, 1913 – January 20, 2010) was an acclaimed Yiddish
Yiddish
poet . The New York Times wrote that Sutzkever was "the greatest poet of the Holocaust
Holocaust
."

CONTENTS

* 1 Biography * 2 Literary career * 3 Works in English translation * 4 Awards and recognition * 5 Recordings * 6 Compositions * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 Further reading * 10 External links

BIOGRAPHY

ABRAHAL (AVROM) SUTZKEVER was born on July 15, 1913, in Smorgon, Vilna Governorate
Vilna Governorate
, Russian Empire
Russian Empire
, now Smarhoń
Smarhoń
, Belarus
Belarus
. During World War I
World War I
, his family fled eastwards from the German invasion and settled in Omsk, Siberia, where his father, Hertz Sutzkever, died. Three years after the war, his mother, Rayne (née Fainberg), moved the family to Vilna
Vilna
, where Sutzkever attended cheder . In 1930, he joined the Bee Jewish scouting movement. He married Freydke in 1939, a day before World War II
World War II
. In 1941, he and his wife were sent to the Vilna
Vilna
Ghetto . Ordered by the Nazis
Nazis
to hand over important Jewish manuscripts and artworks for display in an Institute for Study of the Jewish Question , to be based in Frankfurt
Frankfurt
, Sutzkever and his friends hid a diary by Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl
, drawings by Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall
and Alexander Bogen , and other treasured works behind plaster and brick walls in the ghetto. His mother and newborn son were murdered by the Nazis. On September 12, 1943, he and his wife escaped to the forests, and together with fellow Yiddish
Yiddish
poet Shmerke Kaczerginsky he fought the occupying forces as a partisan. Sutzkever joined a Jewish unit under the command of Moshe Judka Rudnitski, and took part in several missions before being smuggled into the Soviet Union. In July 1943, he gave a fellow partisan a notebook of his poems, which reached the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee
Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee
in Moscow. In March 1944, a small plane was sent to the Vilna
Vilna
forests to bring Sutzkever and his wife to Russia.

In February 1946, he was called up as a witness at the Nuremberg Trials testifying against Franz Murer , the murderer of his mother and son. After a brief sojourn in Poland and Paris, he emigrated to Mandate Palestine , arriving in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
in 1947.

Sutzkever has two daughters, Mira and Rina. He died on January 20, 2010, in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
at the age of 96.

LITERARY CAREER

Sutzkever wrote poetry from an early age, initially in Hebrew
Hebrew
. He published his first poem in Bin, the Jewish scouts magazine. Sutzkever was among the Modernist writers and artists of the Yung Vilne ("Young Vilna") group in the early 1930s. In 1937, he published his first volume of Yiddish
Yiddish
poetry, Lider (Songs).

Sutzkever's second book of poetry, Valdiks ("From the Forest"), was published in 1940. In Moscow, he wrote a chronicle of his experiences in the Vilna
Vilna
ghetto (Fun vilner geto) and began Geheymshtot ("Secret City"), an epic poem about Jews hiding in the sewers of Vilna.

Sutzkever founded the literary quarterly Di goldene keyt (The Golden Chain). Paul Glasser of the YIVO
YIVO
Institute for Jewish Research in New York called him the most important Jewish poet in the postwar world. He became a public advocate of Yiddish, encouraging Jewish communities around the world not to let the language die.

In the 1970s Sutzkever wrote the series Lider fun togbukh ("Poems from a Diary, 1974–1981"), considered his masterpiece. The theme that runs through much of his work is that destroyed landscapes and societies can be reborn, and the murdered Jews of the ghetto live on in the memories of the survivors.

Sutzkever's poetry was translated into Hebrew
Hebrew
by Nathan Alterman
Nathan Alterman
, Avraham Shlonsky
Avraham Shlonsky
and Leah Goldberg
Leah Goldberg
. In the 1930s, his work was translated into Russian by Boris Pasternak
Boris Pasternak
.

WORKS IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION

* Siberia: A Poem, translated by Jacob Sonntag in 1961, part of the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works . * Burnt Pearls : Ghetto Poems of Abraham Sutzkever, translated from the Yiddish
Yiddish
by Seymour Mayne; introduction by Ruth R. Wisse . Oakville, Ont.: Mosaic Press, 1981. ISBN 0-88962-142-X * The Fiddle Rose: Poems, 1970-1972, Abraham Sutzkever; selected and translated by Ruth Whitman; drawings by Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall
; introduction by Ruth R. Wisse. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1990. ISBN 0-8143-2001-5 * A. Sutzkever: Selected Poetry
Poetry
and Prose, translated from the Yiddish
Yiddish
by Barbara and Benjamin Harshav; with an introduction by Benjamin Harshav. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991. ISBN 0-520-06539-5 * Laughter Beneath the Forest : Poems from Old and Recent Manuscripts by Abraham Sutzkever; translated from the Yiddish
Yiddish
by Barnett Zumoff; with an introductory essay by Emanuel S. Goldsmith. Hoboken, NJ: KTAV Publishing, 1996. ISBN 0-88125-555-6

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

* In 1985, Sutzkever was awarded the Israel Prize for Yiddish literature. Sutkever's poems have been translated into 30 languages.

RECORDINGS

* Hilda Bronstein, A Vogn Shikh, lyrics by Avrom Sutzkever, music by Tomas Novotny Yiddish
Yiddish
Songs Old and New , ARC Records * Karsten Troyke , Leg den Kopf auf meine Knie, lyrics by Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger , Itzik Manger and Abraham Sutzkever, music by Karsten Troyke * Abraham Sutzkever, The Poetry
Poetry
of Abraham Sutzkever
Abraham Sutzkever
(Vilno Poet): Read in Yiddish, produced by Ruth Wise on Folkways Records
Folkways Records

COMPOSITIONS

* "The Twin-Sisters" - "Der Tsvilingl", music by Daniel Galay, text by Avrum Sutzkever. Narrator (Yiddish) Michael Ben-Avraham, The Israeli String Quartet for Contemporary Music (Violin, Viola, Cello), percussion, piano. First performance: Tel-Aviv 2/10/2003 on the 90th birthday of Avrum Sutzkever. * "The Seed of Dream", music by Lori Laitman , based on poems by Abraham Sutzkever
Abraham Sutzkever
as translated by C.K. Williams and Leonard Wolf. Commissioned by The Music of Remembrance organization in Seattle. First performed in May 2005 at Benaroya Hall in Seattle by baritone Erich Parce, pianist Mina Miller , and cellist Amos Yang. Recent performance on January 28, 2008, by the Chamber Music Society of Southwest Florida by mezzo-soprano Janelle McCoy, cellist Adam Satinsky and pianist Bella Gutshtein of the Russian Music Salon.

SEE ALSO

* List of Israel Prize recipients * Alexander Bogen

REFERENCES

* ^ "The Poetry
Poetry
of Abraham Sutzkever: The Vilno poet, reading in Yiddish" (product blurb for CD, Folkways Records). The Yiddish
Yiddish
Voice store. yiddishstore.com. Archived from the original on March 23, 2006.

* ^ Cohen, Arthur A. (June 17, 1984). "God the Implausible Kinsman" (review of David G. Roskies, Responses to Catastrophe in Modern Jewish Culture). The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-02. * ^ A B C D E F "Avrom Sutzkever". Daily Telegraph (obituary). telegraph.co.uk. February 16, 2010. Retrieved 2013-01-04. * ^ A B C D Sela, Maya (January 28, 2010). "An ambassador of the Yiddish
Yiddish
language". Haaretz. haaretz.com. Retrieved 2017-02-12. * ^ "UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004". Escholarship.org. Retrieved 2013-01-04. * ^ Berger, Joseph (January 23, 2010). "Abraham Sutzkever, 96, Jewish Poet and Partisan, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-10. * ^ "Poet and Partisan Avrom Sutzkever Dies". The Forward. January 20, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-10. * ^ Mer, Benny (January 22, 2010). "Abraham Sutzkever, 1913-2017". Haaretz. haaretz.com. Retrieved 2017-02-12. * ^ "Siberia: A Poem". Unesco.org. Retrieved 2013-01-04. * ^ " Israel Prize Official Site - Recipients in 1985 (in Hebrew)". * ^ "Chamber Music Society of Southwest Florida Presents Works by Lori Laitman". Chamber Music Society of Southwest Florida. Archived from the original on 2008-10-11. * ^ artsongs.com * ^ "musicofremembrance.org". musicofremembrance.org. Retrieved 2013-01-04. * ^ "chambersociety.org". chambersociety.org. Retrieved 2013-01-04.

* ^ Vertex Media. "janellemccoy.com". janellemccoy.com. Archived from the original on 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2013-01-04. * ^ Archived December 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
.

FURTHER READING

* Dawidowicz, Lucy S. From that Place and Time: A Memoir 1938 - 1947. New York: Norton, 1989. ISBN 0-393-02674-4 * Kac, Daniel. Wilno Jerozolimą było. Rzecz o Abrahamie Sutzkeverze". Sejny: Pogranicze, 2004. ISBN 83-86872-51-9 * Szeintuch, Yehiel. "Abraham Sutzkever", in Encyclopaedia of the Holocaust
Holocaust
. New York: Macmillan Library Reference USA. ISBN 9780028645278 . vol. 4, pp. 1435–1436

EXTERNAL LINKS

* Sutskever\'s work

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