Frenk, Ezriel (or Azriel) Nathan

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FRENK, EZRIEL (or Azriel ) NATHAN (1863–1924), Polish journalist and historian. Frenk was born in Wodzislaw to a ḥasidic family, but he was influenced by the Haskalah at an early age. In 1884 in Warsaw he began to write for the Jewish press, both in Hebrew and in Yiddish, and this remained his lifelong career. He published articles about current events, stories about ḥasidic life, and extensive studies on various subjects, mainly past and present problems of Poland's Jewry. Some of his historical writings, which had originally appeared in the daily press, were subsequently published in book form, notably, Yehudei Polin bi-Ymei Milhamot Napoleon ("Jews of Poland in the Time of Napoleon," 1912), Ha-Ironim ve-ha-Yehudim be-Polin ("The Burghers and Jews in Poland," 1921), and Meshumodim in Poyln in Nayntsn Yorhundert ("Apostates in Poland in the 19th century," 2 vols., 1923–24). However, the bulk of his writing, including important studies of Polish Jewish life in the first half of the 19th century, remains scattered in various Hebrew and Yiddish newspapers and periodicals. Frenk also undertook translations, e.g., H. Sienkiewicz's Ogniem i mieczem (Ba-Esh u-va-Ḥerev, 4 vols., 1919–21).


N.M. Gelber, in: S.K. Mirsky (ed.), Ishimu-Demuyyot be-Ḥokhmat Yisrael be-Eiropah ha-Mizraḥit (1959), 199–204; M. Balaban, Yidn in Poyln (1930), 314–9; idem, in: Ha-Tekufah, 21 (1924), 485–6; Kressel, Leksikon, 1 (1965), 682–3; Rejzen, Leksikon, 3 (1929), 228–37; lnyl, 7 (1938), 516–20.

[Israel Halpern]