Kaganovski: Two Sketches

By Froyim Kaganovski, translated by Murray Citron

Froyim Kaganovski was a Yiddish novelist and prose writer. Born in Warsaw in 1893, he survived the Holocaust by going to the Soviet Union. He returned to Warsaw after the war. In 1948, he welcomed Itzik Manger to Warsaw when Manger visited as a PEN International delegate. (The event is narrated by Manger in “The Destiny of a Poem,” which was published in the 2016 Pakn Treger Translation Issue.) 

Kaganovski began to write and be published at a young age. These two sketches, taken from his collection, Figurn (Figures), published in Poland between the wars, display a gift for sardonic observation and reporting. 

Kaganovski, one of interwar Poland’s most prominent writers, has lately begun to receive attention from translators. In addition to these two sketches, three translations by Kaganovki are available on the Yiddish Book Center website: “Aunt Hodes,” “The Wise One,” and “Blind Folye.”

A volume of his short stories in English was published in 2016.

Half the carriage was taken up by the group of hunters, all older,
heavy gentiles with mighty moustaches. Some were thin, with
legs like poles—long and bony—covered with long stockings
and yellow, scorched boots; some were thick, stocky, with aristocratic
hands and signets... Read more