KOVNER, ABBA

KOVNER, ABBA (1918–1987), Lithuanian resistance fighter and Israeli Hebrew poet. Born in Sevastopol, Russia, Kovner grew up in Vilna. He was active in the ha-shomer ha-Ẓa'ir movement and prepared to immigrate to Ereẓ Israel but the outbreak of World War II prevented him from doing so. During the German occupation of Vilna, he remained in the city, first under the protection of nuns in a convent, and later in the ghetto. Kovner, one of the commanders of the Vilna ghetto, helped to organize the armed revolt and issued a manifesto urging Jews not to go like sheep to the slaughter. He continued to fight the Germans as leader of Jewish partisan groups in the Vilna forests. After the war Kovner was among the organizers of the Beriḥah , responsible for bringing hundreds of thousands of Jews to Ereẓ Israel. In 1945 he went to Ereẓ Israel; but when he attempted to return to Europe to continue Jewish rescue work he was caught by the British secret police and imprisoned in Egypt. During his imprisonment he wrote the poem "Ad Lo Or" ("Until There is no More Light," 1947). After his return from Egypt he joined kibbutz Ein ha-ḥoresh. At the beginning of the War of Independence, he enlisted in the Givati Brigade and wrote a daily Battle Sheet which brought news of the war to the troops. Early in World War II, Kovner's first poems, both in Hebrew and Yiddish, were published in Vilna in the organs of the Ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir, including Ma'amakim. In 1943 his Hebrew poetry was published for the first time in Ereẓ Israel. The poem, which was signed Uri, was printed in the newspaper Haaretz after having been transmitted by the partisan post. His books of poetry include Ad Lo Or (1947); Preidah me-ha-Darom (1949); Admat ha-Ḥol (1961); and Mi-Kol ha-Ahavot (1965), which includes the poem "Ha-Mafte'aḥ Ẓalal."first printed in Yevul (1950). Kovner's poetry, unique in its rhythm, oscillates in theme between the horrors of the Holocaust and the struggles in Ereẓ Israel. His poems also treat of a religious experience in Brazil, encountered in 1955 while he   was on a mission in Latin America. Experiences during the War of Independence gave rise in 1953–55 to his prose trilogy Panim el Panim, She'at ha-Efes (1954), and Ha-Ẓomet (1955). The trilogy, with its diverse characters, both sabras and former partisans, is a monument to the Givati Brigade. In 1972 Kovner's poem Lahakat ha-Keẓev Mofi'ah al Har Gerizim ("The Pop Orchestra Appears on Mt. Gerizim") was published. Dan Miron edited Kol Shirei Abba Kovner (The Collected Poems) 1996–2003, and volume five includes an index and comments by R. Frenkel. In 1973 a selection of his poems, translated into English by Shirley Kaufman and others, was published by Pittsburgh University under the title A Canopy in the Desert. It includes an introductory essay on Kovner by the translator. His Scrolls of Fire appeared in 1981. The English collection My Little Sister and Selected Poems was published in 1986, followed in 2001 by Scrolls of Testimony in 2001 and Sloan Kettering: Poems (2002). In 1970 he was awarded the Israel Prize and in the same year he was elected chairman of the Hebrew Writers' Association of Israel. Kovner was responsible for the scheme adopted for the Beth Hatefutsoth. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: R. Gurfein, Mi-Karov u-me-Raḥok (1964), 117–21, 224–7; A. Kohen, Soferim Ivriyyim Benei Zemannenu (1964), 242f.; Y. Bauer, Flight and Rescue: Beriḥah (1970), index. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. Alexander, "Abba Kovner: Poet of Holocaust and Rebirth," in: Midstream, 23:8 (1977), 50–59; E. Sharoni, "Abba Kovner's 'Observations,'" in: Modern Hebrew Literature, 4:1 (1978), 35–39; R. Shoham, Ha-Mareh ve-ha-Kolot: Kri'ah Kashuvah be-"Preidah me-ha-Darom" le-Abba Kovner (1994); Z. Ben-Yosef Ginor, Ad Keẓ ha-Bedayah: Iyyun be-Shirat A. Kovner (1995); Z. Ginor, "The 'Sheliah Zibur' as a Poetic Persona: A. Kovner's Self-Portrayal," in: Prooftexts, 15:3 (1995), 227–247; R. Shoham, "Intertextual Relations and Their Rhetorical Significance in A. Kovner's Daf Kravi," in: Hebrew Studies, 37 (1996), 99–118; E. Porat, "Bein ha-Shir ha-Liri la-Po'emah ha-Epit," in: Ru'aḥ Aḥeret 3 (1998), 75–80; S. Luria, "Po'emah min ha-Genizah," in: Ẓafon, 5 (1998), 117–129; N. Barzel, Ad Kelot u-mi-Negged: ha-Mifgash bein Manhigei Mered ha-Getta'ot le-vein ha-Ḥevrah ha-Yisra'elit (1998); Z. Ginor, "'Meteor Yid': A. Kovner's Poetic Confrontation with Jewish History," in: Judaism, 48:1 (1999), 35–48; D. Porat, Me'ever la-Gashmi: Parashat Ḥayyav shel Abba Kovner (2000); D. Porat, "Mahapekhanut be-tokh Konẓensus: Parshanuto shel A. Kovner la-Historiyyah ha-Yehudit," in: Yalkut Moreshet, 71 (2001), 151–161; N. Barzel, "Testimony as Literature and Literature as Testimony: A. Kovner and Amir Guttfreund," in: Jewish Studies Quarterly, 9:2 (2002), 160–172; U.S. Cohen, "Ha-Or ha-Nora she-Metil et Zilo ad Ahron ha-Shirim," in: Ereẓ Aḥeret,20 (2004), 72–75; L. Yudkin, "Poet and Activist: Aba Kovner," in: Literature in the Wake of the Holocaust (2003), 65–84. (Getzel Kressel)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Kovner, Abba — (1918 87)    Lithuanian resistance fighter and Hebrew poet. Born in Sevastopol, he grew up in Vilna. He was a commander of the Vilna Ghetto and fought the Germans as leader of the partisan groups in the surrounding forests. In 1945 he settled in… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Abba Kovner — Aba Kovner Abba Kovner (1918 1988) était un poète, écrivain et partisan juif d origine lituanienne. Sommaire 1 Jeunesse 2 Seconde guerre mondiale 3 Vengeance 4 Œuvre littéraire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Abba Kovner — vorne rechts bei der Einsatzbesprechung mit Hagana Angehörigen des Kibbuz Jad Mordechai während des israelischen Unabhängigkeitskrieges, 17. Mai 1948 Abba Kovner (auch Abba Kowner; * 14. März 1918 in Sewastopol; † 25. September 1987 im Kibbuz En… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Abba Kovner — Abba Kovner,de píe al centro, tomada en 1942 Abba Kovner (Sebastopol, Rusia,14 de marzo de 1918 Israel 25 de septiembre de 1987) Fue un heroe de la resistencia judía en los países bálticos, durante y después de la segunda guerra mundial.… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Abba Kovner — (1918–1987) was a Lithuanian Jewish Hebrew poet, writer, and partisan leader. He was a cousin of the Israeli Communist Party leader Meir Vilner. [ [http://www.pww.org/archives97/97 07 19 3.html] ] He was born in the Crimean Black Sea port city of …   Wikipedia

  • Kovner — is the surname of: *Abba Kovner, Lithuanian poet *Ber Kovner, Israeli politician *Bruce Kovner, American politician …   Wikipedia

  • Kovner — Kovner, auch Kowner bezeichnet: Abba Kovner Ber Kovner Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begriffe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kovner — Kọvner,   Abba, hebräischer Schriftsteller, * Sewastopol 1918, ✝Ein Hahoresh 25. 9. 1987; überlebte den Krieg als Partisan in Wilna und kam 1945 nach Israel. Hauptthemen seiner meist durch ein nervöses Stakkato geprägten Lyrik und seiner Prosa… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Aba Kovner — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Kovner. Abba Kovner (1918 1987) était un poète, écrivain et partisan juif d origine lituanienne. Sommaire 1 Jeunesse 2 Seconde guerre mondiale …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bericha — Bricha (auch: Beriha, Brichah etc.; hebr. בריחה Flucht ) war die Bezeichnung für eine organisierte Untergrundbewegung, die zwischen 1944 und 1948 Juden aus Polen, Ungarn, der Tschechoslowakei, Rumänien, Jugoslawien und der Sowjetunion die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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