Friday, 9 August 2019


VIKTOR SHULMAN (November 26, 1876-August 24, 1951)
            He was born Yisroel-Khayim Shadovski near Kovno.  He attended religious elementary school and the Telz yeshiva.  He passed the examinations to become a pharmacist.  In 1899 he joined the Bund.  He was active and played a leading role in the party.  He was thrown in prison and exiled to Siberia.  In 1909 he fled to Switzerland and in 1914 arrived secretly in Warsaw.  When WWII broke out, he fled from Warsaw and in 1941 reached the United States.  His activities as a journalist began in 1900 with the publication in Homel of the illegal Bundist Kamf (Struggle), the illegal Veker (Alarm), and correspondence pieces in Arbayter stime (Workers’ voice) and later in Vilna’s Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper), using the pen name Lazar.  Shulman’s true journalistic debut took place on February 4, 1916, when he was appointed secretary of the weekly Lebens-fragen (Life issues) in Warsaw (from December 6-22, 1918, a weekly).  Due to frequent confiscations and suspensions by the Polish authorities, the newspaper appeared under a variety of names: Arbayter shtime, Arbets-tog (Work day), Unzer tog (Our day), Nayer tog (new day), Tog-fragen (Issues of the day), Nayer arbets-tog (New work day), Naye arbayter shtime (New voice of workers), Di tsayt (The times), Tsayt-shtimen (Voices of the times), Morgenshtern (Morningstar), and finally Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) which existed from September 1, 1922 until September 22, 1939, and Shulman was connected to it and also helped publish it in Nazi-besieged Warsaw.  He also contributed to other Bundist publications in Poland, such as the collection Unzer shtime, the monthly Unzer tsayt, and the like.
            He wrote articles and essays on the Jewish labor movement, Jewish life in Poland, and the Yiddish and Yiddish-socialist press, among other topics.  Longer works of his would include: “Karl marks un di yuden-frage” (Karl Marx and the Jewish question), in the anthology Karl marks (Karl Marx) (Warsaw, 1918); “Der bund in rusland far der tsayt fun der revolutsye” (The Bund in Russia before the time of the Revolution), in the collection Unzer shtime (Warsaw, 1918); “100 yor nokhn ershtn revolutsyonern oyfshtand kegn tsarizm” (One hundred year after the first revolutionary uprising against Tsarism), in Arbeter-luekh (Workers’ calendar) (1925), and he also edited the six yearbooks of Arbeter-luekh (Warsaw, 1920-1926); “Prese by yidn in andere shprakhn” (The press among Jews in other languages), in Yidishe entsiklopedye (Jewish encyclopedia), vol. 3 (New York, 1942); “Vegn der geshikhte fun yidn in poyln” (On the history of Jews in Poland), in the collection Yidn in poyln (Jews in Poland) (New York, 1946).  In addition to those mentioned above, he also contributed work to: Fraynd (Friend) in St. Petersburg (1910), Bikher-velt (Book world), Veker, Yugnt-veker (Youth alarm), Royte shlyakhn (Red battles), Foroys (Onward), and Tsukunft (Future) in New York.
            In book form: Bletlekh geshikhte fun der yidisher arbeter-bavegung (Pages of history from the Jewish labor movement), part 1 (Warsaw: Di velt, 1929), 105 pp., no further parts appeared in print.  Translations: Heinrich Cunow, Di antshteyung fun religye un gloybn (The rise of religion and belief [original: Ursprung der Religion und des Gottesglaubens]) (Odessa, 1922; later edition, Warsaw: Di velt, 1930), 183 pp.; V. M. Chernov, Yidishe tuer in der parṭey sotsyalisṭn revolutsyonern, biografishe eseyen (Jewish leaders in the Socialist Revolutionary party, biographical essays) (New York, 1948).  He died in Canada.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Pinkhes Shvarts, in Tsukunft (New York) 9 (1951); Y. Sh. Herts, Doyres bundistn (Generations of Bundists), vol. 1 (New York, 1956); Itonut yehudit shehayta (Jewish press that was) (Tel Aviv, 1973), p. 149; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Berl Cohen

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