Stencl, Abraham Nahum

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STENCL, ABRAHAM NAHUM (Avrom -Nokhem Shtentsl ; 1897–1983), Yiddish poet and editor. Born in Czeladź, Poland, his father was ḥasidic dayyan of Czestochowa and his brother head of the local yeshivah. To avoid military conscription, he fled to Holland in 1919, later living in Germany. Wrestling with secular culture, he came early to the vocation of poet and chose to write in Yiddish. Arriving in London in 1936, he lived the rest of his life in a council flat in Whitechapel, organizing the Friends of Yiddish and editing its journal, Loshn un Lebn. His poems and essays printed in Germany include Un Du Bist Got ("And You Are God," 1924) and Fisherdorf ("Fishing Village," 1933). His London writings appeared in his Heftlekh and Loshn un Lebn and in such collections as Vaytshepl Lebt ("Whitechapel Lives," 1951) and Vaytshepl Shtetl Debritn ("Whitechapel, A Shtetl of Britain," 1961). His papers are at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.


Rejzen, Leksikon, 4 (1929) 624–6; S.S. Prawer, A.N. Stencl, Poet of Whitechapel (1984); L. Prager, Yiddish Culture in Britain (1990), 597–9.

[Leonard Prager (2nd ed.)]