HILLEL ZLATOPOLSKY (1867/1868-December 11, 1932)
He was born in Kremenchuk, Ukraine. He was later one of the richest sugar manufacturers in Kiev. When he was very young, he joined the lovers of Palestine movement among Jewish youth of that time, later associating with the Zionists until the end of his life. He was a member of the Zionist Action Committee. In the era of the Uganda crisis in 1903, he was a sharp opponent of the Uganda project and was part of “Tsiyoni Tsiyon” (Zionists for Zion). He was one of the founders of the Jewish National Fund. In 1910 he founded the society Tarbut in Kiev. In 1915 he supported Zhabotinsky’s “Jewish Legion.” After the Russian Revolution of 1917, he immigrated to France where he successfully built sugar factories and was even honored as an honorary legionnaire by the French government. He died in Paris of a bullet shot by a former director of one of his factories in France. He published initially in Hatsfira (The siren) in 1887, later (after 1898) in Hamelits (The advocate) as well as in other Hebrew-language publications. He wrote mainly about Zionist matters. In Yiddish he wrote the pamphlet: Di organizirung fun di yudishe folks-koykhes (The organization of the Jewish people’s strength) (London, 1920), 20 pp., a propaganda booklet for the building of Israel. He also placed articles in Parizer haynt (Paris today), edited by A. Alperin, on various topics, including Lubavitcher Hassidism which he research for a time and in which he demonstrated considerable interest. He founded and financed the publishing house Amanut (Artistry) and supported “School-and-culture” (Shulkult) schools in Paris. His daughter Shoshana Persits was a member of the Knesset in Israel. His grandson Gershom Schocken was the editor of Haarets (The land) in Tel Aviv.
Sources: Evreiskaia entsiklopedia, vol. 7; Forverts (New York) (December 12, 1932); Der tog (New York) (December 13, 1932); Ruvn Brainin, in Der tog (December 15, 1932); Rassvet (Paris) (December 11 and 18, 1932); V. Zhabotinsky, in Rassvet (December 18, 1932); N. Herman, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 5, 1933); Hadoar (New York) (December 16, 1932; February 3, 1933); Y. Hadas, in Der veg (Mexico City) (December 22, 1957); oral information from A. Alperin in New York.