ABRAHAM GONTAR (1908-1981)

He was born in Berdichev in 1908, his first poem was published in 1927 in the newspaper «Di voh» ( «The Week»). He concluded his studies in the Odessa Pedagogical Institute and afterwards graduated at the Institute for Jewish Culture at the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. In 1933, became a member of the editorial board and the executive secretary of the journal «Farmest». In the same year he published the first collection of poems «Af reshtovanes». Later Gontar has issued more than two dozen of poetry collections and several books of prose. At the beginning of the Second World War, the poet was in the military service, and since 1943 has worked in the newspaper «Eynikayt» Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee.In 1949, during the «fight against cosmopolitanism», Gontar was repressed. he was fully rehabilitated in 1956. From the first issues of the journal «Sovetish geymland» Gontar became a member of the editorial board and head of the department of Poetry Magazine. Abraham Gontar’s poetry was replete with folk motifs, emotionally exalted. The works of the poet has been translated into Russian, Ukrainian and other languages. Gontar was known as a brilliant translator of other languages into Yiddish. In his translation of the magazine «Sovetish geymland» published a novel by Anatoly Rybakov «Heavy sand». In the 60’s and 70’s years in the publishing house «The Soviet writer» published several dozen books of Jewish writers, the editor of which was Abraham Gontar. He died in Moscow on 15 August 1981.