Tuesday 10 February 2015


Y. BLUMSHTEYN (b. ca. 1870)
He was born in Mohilev (Mogilev) or Vitebsk, Byelorussia.  At an early age he wrote correspondence pieces for Hamelits (The advocate) and Hatsfira (The siren).  Around 1894 he left for Switzerland and studied to be a chemical engineer.  In 1896 he became a member of the students’ “group of Jewish socialists” who later sided with the Bund.  The group’s objective was to publish socialist literature in Yiddish.  Blumshteyn was among the top leaders of the group, and he was the author of the popular pamphlet, Di mayse fun fir brider (The story of four brothers), based on Stepniak’s Russian original put out by Narodnya Volya (People’s will) but adapted to Jewish life and later printed by the overseas committee of the Bund.  In 1899 he became one of the main contributors to Der yidisher arbayter (The Jewish worker) which was the theoretical organ of the Bund.  In issue no. 11 (1900) of Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), he—using the pseudonym Rabi Korev—published a major article in “Diskusyon vegn der natsyonaler frage” (Discussion on the national question) in favor of the demand for Jewish national cultural autonomy.  He also translated (published later by the publishing house of Di velt [The world] in Vilna) Der komunistisher manifest (The Communist Manifesto), adapted and translated with a series of booklets, such as: Vos yeder arbeter darf visn un gedenken (What every worker must know and think) and Fun vos eyner lebt (From what one lives), among others; he contributed articles and stories to Di naye velt (The new world) in London, Tsukunft (Future) and Forverts (Forward) in New York, and to the Bund’s Arbayter-shtime (Voice of labor).  Late in 1905, he returned to Russia, settled in Vilna, and became a member of the editorial board of the Bundist daily Der veker (The alarm), later Di folkstsaytung (The people’s newspaper).  He was considered a specialist in Jewish affairs, and he had long discussions with theoreticians of other political inclinations.  He later worked as a teacher of natural science in the Vilna high school of Antokolski and Gurevich, and he took a stance close to A. Litvin’s journal Lebn un visnshaft (Life and science), in which he published (1909-1910) popular scientific articles.  He also contributed to Fraynd (Friend) in St. Petersburg and other periodicals.  He wrote under such pen names as: K. Frumin, Blumin, B. Beylin, A Yid, Reb Korev, and the like.  In 1912 he settled in Baku, Kavkaz, and there he worked as an engineer.  Over the years 1912-1913, he worked as manager of the “Jewish Literary Society” of Baku.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1, pp. 303-5; P. Anman, “Di ershte bundishe legale tsaytungen” (The first legal Bundist newspapers), in 25 yor—zamlbukh (Anthology at 25) (Warsaw, 1922); pp. 70, 74; F. Kurski, Gezamlte shriftn (Collected writings) (New York, 1952), pp. 206-7; Historishe shriftn fun yivo (Historical writings from YIVO) (Vilna, 1937), vol. 3, p. 548; Dzhan Mil (John Mill), Pyonern un boyer (Pioneers and builders) (New York, 1946-1949), vol. 2, pp. 33, 72; Yivo-bleter 36, pp. 333-34; Visnshaftlekhe yorbikher (Moscow) 1 (1929); Grigori Aronson, in Tsukunft (New York) (May-June 1942); Tsukunft (1903), a series of discussion pieces between K. Frumin and B. Feygnboym.

No comments:

Post a Comment