Fram, David

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FRAM, DAVID (1903–1988), South African Yiddish poet. Born in Panevezys, Lithuania, he was a refugee with his parents in Russia during World War i, and returned to Lithuania in 1921. From 1923 he published poems in the Kaunas Yiddish press and in 1927 immigrated to South Africa, where he issued Lider un Poemes ("Songs and Poems," Vilna, 1931), nostalgic idylls of Jewish life in Lithuania, as well as South African poems. His later poetry dealt with South African themes, but remained rooted in Lithuanian Jewish tradition: "All the major actors on the South African stage step boldly forward in Fram's verse" (Sherman). His writings are marked by a deep compassion for the underdog and a sensitive lyrical quality. Outstanding examples are two long 1947 poems, "Efsher" ("Perhaps"), largely autobiographical, and "Dos Letste Kapitl" ("The Last Chapter"), an elegy on his destroyed Lithuanian homeland. Between the wars, Fram was active in Yiddish cultural circles in Johannesburg, a contributor to all Yiddish publications in South Africa, and wrote the libretti for two Yiddish operettas staged in Johannesburg. His later verse is anthologized in A Shvalb oyfn Dakh ("A Swallow on the Roof," 1984).


lnyl, 7 (1968), 439. add. bibliography: J. Sherman, in: The Mendele Review (Jan. 14, 2004).

[Gustav Saron and

Louis Hotz /

Leonard Prager (2nd ed.)]