GRIGORI (GRIGORII, GREGOR) ARONSON (July 28, 1887-September 7, 1968)
Born in St. Petersburg. He attended high school in Homel (Hamel, Gomel). He studied Jewish subject matter with Hillel Zeitlin. In his youth he fell under the influence of the circle surrounding Mordechai ben Hillel Hacohen (1856–1936, an uncle on his mother’s side). He lived through the pogrom in Homel in 1903. In 1908 he began writing in Russian. In 1918 he began writing in Yiddish for the Bundist publication, Veker (Alarm), in Minsk. He was exiled in 1922 from Soviet Russia. He lived In Germany and France, and from 1940 he was in the United States. In 1918 he contributed to the Bundist publications Tsukunft (Future) and Hofenung (Hope) in Moscow; in 1923 to Ben-Adir’s Dos fraye vort (The free word) in Berlin; was an editorial contributor to Virtshaft un lebn (Economy and life); on the editorial board of Ort-yedies (News from ORT), Unzer shtime (Our voice), and Haynt (Today) in Paris, Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper), Faroys (Forward), and Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw; and Algemayne yidishe entsiklopedye (General Jewish encyclopedia), Unzer tsayt (Our times), Tsukunft (Future), Forverts (Forward), Gerekhtikeyt (Justice), and Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York.
His books include: a volume of poems in Russian (St. Petersburg, 1916); Di shpaltung fun bund (The split in the Bund), Russian and Yiddish versions (Moscow, 1920); Der farband ort un zayne oyfgabes (The union ORT [Association for the Promotion of Skilled Trades] and its tasks) (Berlin, 1923); Di yidishe problemes in sovet-rusland (Jewish problems in Soviet Russia) (New York, 1944), 178 pp.; Antisemitizm in sovet-rusland (Anti-Semitism in Soviet Russia), Yiddish and English versions (New York, 1953); Rusish-yidishe inteligents (Russian-Jewish intellectuals) (Buenos Aires: Yidbukh, 1962), 254 pp. Over the course of forty years, Aronson contributed to various Russian newspapers and magazines in St. Petersburg, Vitebsk, Berlin, Paris, and New York; the longest association was with the Menshevik Sotsialisticheskii vestnik (Socialist herald), and most recently with the daily newspaper Novoe russkoe slovo (New Russian word) in New York. He also published the book in Russian: Na zare krasnogo terrora (Dawn of the red terror) (Berlin, 1929).
He was active from 1903 in the revolutionary movement in Russia. He took an energetic part in the revolutions of 1905 and 1917. He spent two years in Russian prisons. He was for a time a member of the Vitebsk committee of the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party; in 1917 he was chairman of the workers’ council in Vitebsk and a candidate for the Constituent Assembly; in 1918 a member of the municipal management committee in Minsk; in 1920 a member of the Moscow workers’ council and the central committee of the Bund; after emigrating, he was a member of the overseas delegation of Mensheviks; for a time general secretary of ORT in Berlin; secretary of the Jewish pavilion at the international Paris Exposition of 1937. He died in New York.