YITSKHOK-DOV-BER MARKON (January 27, 1875-April 29, 1949)
He was born in Rybinsk, Yaroslavl district, “Great Russia,” into a rabbinical family which descended from the Gaon of Vilna. He received a thorough Jewish and a secular education. In 1901 he graduated from the departments of Oriental Studies and law at St. Petersburg University. He was later a bibliographer in the Hebrew division of the Imperial Public Library in St. Petersburg. Over the years 1920-1922, he was a lecturer at Leningrad University, later a professor of Oriental Studies and ancient history at Minsk University. He was well-known as an authority on the history of Karaism in Russia. In 1926 he left Russia, lived for a short time in Riga, and then settled in Berlin where he lectured on ancient Jewish history at the Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary. Over the years 1929-1933, he was head librarian of the Jewish community library in Hamburg. In late 1938 he was expelled from the country and made his way to Holland. He lived in Amsterdam until 1940, later in London. From 1942 he was living in Ramsgate, England, where he lectured at the Montefiore Institute and served as editor of Yehudit (Judith). He wrote for the Hebrew-language periodicals: Hamelits (The spectator), Hagan (The garden), Hazman (The times), Hatsfira (The siren), Haivri (The Jew), and Hakedem (The vineyard), among others; as well as in such Russian Jewish serials as: Voskhod (Arise), Budushchnost’ (Future), Razsvet (Dawn), Evreiskaia zhizn’ (Jewish life), and Evreiskaia starina (Jewish past). In Yiddish he published articles on Jews in Crimea, portions of his history of Jews in Slavic lands, and on Jewish poetry of the Middle Ages in: Der yud (The Jew) in Cracow-Warsaw; Der fraynd (The friend) in St. Petersburg-Warsaw; Haynt (Today) in Warsaw; Petrograder togblat (Petrograd daily newspaper); and elsewhere; and in the years 1926-1928, in such serials as: Dos folk (The people) and Frimorgn (Morning) in Riga; and Parizer bleter (Parisian pages). He was the author of books in Russian, Hebrew, German, and French. He was co-editor of the Evreiskaia entsiklopediya (Jewish encyclopedia) (St. Petersburg), and he was a contributor to: Jüdisches Lexicon (Jewish Lexicon) (Berlin), Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judenthums (Jewish history and scholarship monthly) (Breslau), Encyclopedia Judaica, and Eshkol entsiklopedye (Eshkol’s encyclopedia) (Berlin). He was a contributor to Metsuda (Citadel) in London (1940-1949), in which, among other items, he published a historical series entitled “Midor ledor” (From generation to generation), as well as chapters from his work on the history of blood libels in Russia. He wrote as well for: Di tsayt (The times) and Di idishe post (The Jewish mail) in London, among other serials. He died in Ramsgate, near London.
Sources: Dr. Y. Helman, in Dos folk (Riga) (February 15, 1926); Jüdisches Lexicon (Berlin, 1930); Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; R. Brainin, in Tog (New York) (April 6, 1935); Y. Tiger, in Di tsayt (London) (March 31, 1949); Sh. A. Tiktin, in Hadoar (New York) (June 17, 1949); Y. H. Lev, in Frayland (Paris) 9 (1954); Entsiklopediya kelalit masada (Masada general encyclopedia) (Jerusalem, 1958/1959).
Khayim Leyl Fuks