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Coralnik, Abraham


CORALNIK, ABRAHAM (1883–1937), Yiddish essayist and literary critic. Coralnik, who was born in the Ukrainian town of Uman, studied at the universities of Kiev, Florence, Berlin, Bonn, and Vienna. He mastered a dozen languages in the course of his travels. His main interest was philosophy. Coralnik's interest in Zionism led to his appointment as editor of the Viennese Zionist organ, Die Welt, in 1904. He also edited periodicals in Agram (now Zagreb, Croatian Republic) and Czernowitz, and served as correspondent for German and Russian newspapers in Rome, Berlin, and Copenhagen. In 1915 he joined the staff of the newly founded Yiddish daily Der Tog, for which he continued to work until his death, with a single interruption in 1917–20, when his enthusiasm for the Russian Revolution led him to edit Russian journals in Leningrad, Moscow, and Kiev. Although Coralnik was at first more at ease in Russian and German than in Yiddish, he gradually developed a lucid literary Yiddish. He claimed that civilization included far more irrational entities than rational ones and sought to explore the irrational core of artistic creation and national consciousness. In 1928 his essays were collected in five volumes, and three more volumes were published posthumously. In May 1933, he founded the American League for the Defense of Jewish Rights in response to the rise of Nazism, and with Samuel *Untermeyer organized the World Jewish Economic Conference in Amsterdam in an effort to coordinate an international anti-Nazi boycott, which met with little success.


Rejzen, Leksikon, 3 (1929), 553–8; S. Bickel, Shrayber fun Mayn Dor (1958), 203–7; S.D. Singer, Dikhter un Prozaiker (1959), 284–90; M. Gottleib, "The Anti-Nazi Boycott in the American Jewish Community, 1933–1941" (Diss. Brandeis, 1967).

[Sol Liptzin /

Sarah Ponichtera (2nd ed.)]

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