ARN BRESTOVITSKI (April 3, 1916-September 19, 1944)
He was born in Utyan (Utena), Lithuania, and in 1923 he moved with his parents to Vilna. His father, Binyomin, a bookkeeper by trade, was one of the early builders of the Yiddish school and culture movement in Vilna, an active leader in the democratic Folks-partey (People’s party) and later in Frayland (Freeland) league; and from time to time he wrote articles on pedagogical issues in Vilna school publications and in Vilner tog (Vilna day). His son received a secular Jewish education, graduating from the “Mefitse haskalah” (Society for the promotion of enlightenment [among the Jews of Russia]) school and the Sofia Gurevich High School. In 1934 he entered the History Faculty at Vilna University, and in 1937 he became a research student at YIVO. He was a member of the Jewish Scout organization “Bin” and a co-founder of the territorialist youth organization “Shperber.” He wrote articles on topical social issues for territorialist publications and for Vilner tog under the pseudonyms: A. B., B. Arens, Solomontshik Aronoldi, and Brestaun. During his university studies, he worked on such major research projects as: “Yidn in poylishn oyfshtand 1863” (Jews in the Polish uprising of 1863), “Gavriel riser” (Gabriel Riser), and “Etyudn tsu der geshikhte fun der yidisher arbeter-bavegung” (Studies on the history of the Jewish labor movement). His major research work was on the subject: “Di yidishe prese in vilne” (The Yiddish press in Vilna). He died, together with his father, in the Klooga concentration camp in Estonia.
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