Thursday 12 February 2015


LUCJAN (ELIEZER) BLIT (November 26, 1904-September 10, 1978)
     He was born into a merchant family in Warsaw.  He graduated from a Polish high school and studied social sciences at a professional college in Warsaw.  In 1917 he joined the youth association, known as Tsukunft (Future), of the Bund in Poland and became its secretary in 1925.  As a representative of this organization, in 1939 he was chosen to serve on the executive of the Socialist Youth International.  When war erupted in 1939, he escaped from Warsaw and until March 1940 lived in Vilna.  He was arrested by the Bolshevik authorities when he attempted to return to Warsaw, and he was sentenced to three years exile.  In August 1941, when he was freed (together with other Polish exiles), he volunteered and joined the Polish Army which formed in Buzuluk.  Shortly thereafter, through the effort of his friends, Henryk Erlich and Viktor Alter, he traveled on to Kuibyshev.  Early in 1942 he departed as a soldier under General Władysław Anders to Iran.  From February 1943 he was in London where he was a member of the Bundist delegation in England.  He began publishing in 1922 articles concerning political and youth-related issues in the Warsaw weekly Yugnt-veker (Youth alarm), organ of Tsukunft; and later until 1939 he served on the editorial board of this serial.  He was the author of a number of booklets and appeals (in both Yiddish and Polish) to Jewish youth in Poland in the name of the central committee of the Tsukunft organization.  He contributed as well to Unzer tsayt (Our time) and Tsukunft in New York, and he was a regular London correspondent for the Forverts (Forward) in New York as well.  He wrote in German and English, too, and served on the editorial committee of the English-language monthly Socialist Commentary in London, and a contributor to the socialist Arbeiter Zeitung (Workers’ newspaper) in Vienna.  Among his pseudonyms: V. Finster, Lucjan, and L. B. He died in London.

[N.b. After this biography first appeared, Blit published a major work in English: The Origins of Polish Socialism: The History and Ideas of the First Polish Socialist Party, 1878-1886 (Cambridge University Press, 1971), 160 pp.—JAF]

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