This Week in JPL History: An Evening with Rochel Korn

Rochl Korn is shown here speaking at a Jewish Public Library event

On April 8th, 1951 the Library hosted an evening with Rochl Korn, a heavyweight of Yiddish literature who called Montreal home for many years. Korn was also a longtime participant in the cultural activities of the Library.

First publishing her writing in 1918, Korn held a long career producing both short stories and poetry. In these early years she was known for her use of imagery from the natural world and later the rich internal landscapes she was able to create for readers. Her later work was greatly affected by both world wars, as well as the Stalinist purges of the 1930′s. Through her writing Korn aimed to give voice to those who had been silenced. Korn herself fled to Vienna with her family for the duration of WWI and to Russia during WWII. She immigrated to Canada with her daughter and son-in-law in 1948 with the help of Ida Maze and quickly joined the flourishing Yiddish literary circle in Montreal. This circle consisted of J.I. Segal, Melech Ravitch, and Ida Maze, among many other dedicated writers and thinkers.

Korn was a participant in many of the Library’s events and regularly presented her work. The JPL-Archives holds her correspondence and in 2003 launched a website which includes her poetry.

The This Week in Jewish Public Library History blog series was made possible through the generous support of the Peter and Ellen Jacobs Virtual Archives Fund.

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