AustLit logo
Herz Bergner Herz Bergner i(A12575 works by)
Born: Established: 1907 Radimno,
Eastern Europe, Europe,
; Died: Ceased: 1970
Gender: Male
Arrived in Australia: 1938
Heritage: Polish ; Jewish
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Herz Bergner's family left the township of Radimno to settle in Vienna during WW I and returned at the end of the war. During the 1920s Bergner's elder brother, a Yiddish writer, Melech Ravitch, became the secretary of the Union of Yiddish writers in Warsaw. Bergner started writing himself and belonged to a group of young, left-wing Jewish writers. He decided to emigrate when he married and followed his brother, who had originally come to Australia in 1933 to raise funds for Jewish secular schools in Poland. In Australia, Bergner met Pinchus Goldhar and other Yiddish writers and, together with Abraham Schulman and Goldhar, began the literary publication Oyfboy which was published in Melbourne by Oyfboy Publishing (Eng. trans. Reconstruction).

Most Referenced Works


  • Author writes in these languages:YIDDISH, ENGLISH

Awards for Works

Light and Shadow 1963 single work novel ' A narrative of three generations of an immigrant Jewish family in Australia and of their separate ways of adapting to the new land, and the tensions created by the individual and divergent compromises made in the confrontation between her-and-now realities and folk religion and tradition.' (The Bibliography of Australasian Judaica 1788-2008, p. 8)
1969 International Awards Zwi-Kessel Prize for Jewish Books
Zwishn Himl un Waser 1946 single work novel

'A group of Jewish refugees are thrown together on board a dilapidated freighter charting a course for Australia. Fleeing terrible scenes of destruction in Europe, they are bound by a deep sense of loss and the uncertainty of their fate. As the ship lists, inner conflicts burst to the surface and romance, revenge, guilt and desperation fill the craft. There’s poignancy, drama and an abiding strength of humanity as the passengers’ lives play out in this unbearable hinterland between sky and sea.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1948 winner ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal

As 'Between Sky and Sea'.

Last amended 23 Sep 2008 15:27:30
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: