MARK KHINOY (October 21, 1884-1968)
He was born near a village in Surazh district, Chernigov (Chernihiv), Ukraine. He father worked as an office employee in forestry. From childhood, he wandered around, initially with his parents and later alone. He studied in religious primary school in the towns of Chechensk, Zhuravichy, and Belitse (Belica), Mohilev district. After graduating from a Russian school in Novobelitse, near Homel (Gomel), he worked in a pharmacy where he learned the profession. In 1899 he moved to Vilna where he became a typesetter, for the revolutionary movement, and on an assignment for the social democratic party, he organized illegal print shops in a number of cities in southern Russia. He held a variety of positions in the party and wrote for its illegal press organs. In 1905 he was a member of the Ekaterinoslav Soviet of workers’ deputies; in the summer of 1906 he was secretary of the legal association of urban workers and office employees in Moscow. He was arrested in Ekaterinoslav, in Moscow, and the last time (1908) in St. Petersburg in the print shop of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where he worked—with the knowledge of the party—under a false name (Lemberg) as a manager of the linotype machines in the secret division of the Ministry. On two occasions he was sent to Siberia, and both times he escaped. In late 1908 he emigrated to Paris, where he worked there initially in his trade and later as a French-Russian and Russian-French translator. At the same time, he was active in the Russian social democratic party and wrote for the French trade union press. In 1913 he moved on to the United States and settled in Chicago, where he was (1914-1917) editorial secretary of the Chicago edition of the Russian socialist newspaper Novyi mir (New world). After the Russian Revolution (February-March 1917), he served as executive secretary of the Mid-West Conference of the emigrants’ organizations (Russian, Jewish, Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Finnish), and he actively contributed in the organizing of the return to Russia of political exiles, but after the October uprising in 1917, he broke off all contacts both with Novyi mir and with the Russian federation of the American Socialist Party, when the federation fell under the control of the Bolsheviks. In 1918 he contributed to the Menshevik weekly Narodnaia gazeta (People’s gazette) in New York, and in 1919 to the unaligned, Chicago-based Russian newspaper Svobodnaia rossiia (Free Russia). In 1921 he settled in New York and began writing in Yiddish. Using the pen name “S. Midovitsh,” he published in Forverts (Forward) a series of articles on the state of the socialist and Communist movement in all countries, and from that point he was a regular contributor to the newspaper, in which he became one of the editorial writers. He was also (until March 1923) a standing contributor to Der veker (The alarm), organ of the Jewish Socialist Union in America. Khinoy wrote on international politics, issues in the workers’ movement around the world, the socio-economic and political conditions in Russia, and the theory and practice of Communism. He often placed pieces in Tsukunft (Future) in New York. He wrote as well for the New York socialist weekly New Leader, for which he was (1933-1938) a standing contributor, and he regularly placed pieces in the Russian-language, Menshevik journal Sotsialisticheskii vestnik (Socialist herald) in New York, for which he wrote about American problems. In 1934 he made a trip to Soviet Russia, and he wrote up his impressions from the trip later in Forverts in several dozen articles which, aside from the Yiddish press in a number of countries, were reprinted in English, Swedish, German, and immigrant Russian newspapers. He later wrote a memoir: Fun tsarishn un sovetishn untergrunt, politishe un byografishe etapn in mayn lebn (From the Tsarist and Soviet underground, political and biographical stages in my life) (New York: Veker, 1965), 274 pp. Among his pseudonyms: Lemberg, L. Markin, M. Samoylov, and L. Berg. He died in New York.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Y. Sh. Herts, Di yidishe sotsyalistishe bavegung in amerike, 70 yor sotsyalistishe tetikeyt, 30 yor yidishe sotsyalistishe farband (The Jewish socialist movement in America, seventy years of socialist activity, thirty years of the Jewish Socialist Union) (New York, 1954), see index; M. Katz, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (December 22, 1934); N. Khanin, in Der veker (New York) (November 1, 1954).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 316.]