Sunday 19 April 2015


JULIUS (YEHUDE, IULII) BRUTSKUS (1870-January 27, 1951)
The brother of Ber Brutskus, he was born in Polangen (Palanga), Courland.  He graduated from the medical faculty of Moscow University.  In his student years, he was a member of Ḥoveve-Tsiyon (Lovers of Zion) circles.  He contributed to the compilation of the important bibliographical work Ukazatel’ russkoi literatury o yevreyakh (Index of Russian literature on the Jews) (1891).  He settled in St. Petersburg, where he was active in various Jews associations.  Over the years 1899-1902, he contributed to Voskhod (Sunrise) and Razsviet (Dawn).  In 1906 he moved to Minsk.  He was sent as a delegate to Zionist congresses.  He was a member of the Zionist Action Committee.  During WWI, he served as a military doctor in the Russian army.  In 1920 he was arrested by the Bolsheviks for his Zionist activities.  In 1921 he escaped to Kovno.  He was a deputy in the Lithuanian Sejm.  He managed its Ministry of Jewish Affairs.  He participated in the Zionist press.  He later moved to Germany and was vice-president of OZE (Obschestvo zdravookhraneniia evreev—Society for the Protection of the Health of the Jewish Population).
He also worked on YIVO publications, and he was a contributor to and part of the editorial team for Algemeyne yidishe entsiklopedye (General Jewish encyclopedia).  Among his important research works: “Di handls-batsiungen fun di mayrev-yidn mitn altn kiev” (Business relations of Western Jews with old Kiev), in Shriftn far ekonomik un statistik (Writings on economic and statistics) (Berlin: YIVO, 1928); “Di ershte yedies vegn yidn in poyln” (The first information of Jews in Poland), in Historishe shriftn (Historical writings) 1 (Warsaw: YIVO, 1929); “Di geshikhte fun di barg-yidn in kavkaz” (The history of the mountain Jews in the Caucasus), in Historishe shriftn 2 (Vilna: YIVO, 1937); “Di opshtamung fun karayimer in lite un poyln” (The origin of the Karaites in Lithuania and Poland), in Vakhshteyn-bukh (Wachstein book) (Vilna, 1939); “Yidishe antropologye” (Jewish anthropology), in Algemeyne yidishe entsiklopedye, vol. 2, “Yidn B” (Jews B) (Paris, 1940).  He also published in Russian and English works about the history of Jews in Russia, among them: Geshikhte fun yidn in kurland (History of the Jews in Courland) (St. Petersburg, 1896).  With the rise of Hitler to power, he left Germany and settled in Paris.  During WWII, he came to the United States and lived in New York.  He was active in the “Association of Russian Jews” and contributed to Tsukunft (Future).  In 1946 he made aliya to Israel.  He died in Petaḥ-Tikva.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Y. Sosis, “Di historishe visnshaft” (Historical scholarship), in Fashizirter yidishizm un zayn visnshaft (Fascist Yiddishism and its scholarship), anthology of the Yiddish section of the Byelorussian Academy of Sciences (Minsk, 1930); obituary article in Tog (New York) (January 28, 1951); obituary in Yivo-yedies (New York) 40 (March 1951).

Zaynvil Diamant

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