Tuesday 9 June 2015


BERNARD (BERL) GOLDSHTEYN (1889-December 7, 1959)
            An active leader in the Jewish labor movement in Poland, he was born in Shedlets (Siedlce), Poland, into a laboring family.  In 1907 he was a member of the Warsaw Collective of the Bund.  He was one of the most energetic organizers of the trade union movement among Jewish workers.  He spent time in a number of prisons in Poland and Russia, and he was deported to Siberia.  After the Russian Revolution in 1917, he moved to Petrograd, took part in the Tenth Conference of the Bund in Russia, and later left for Kiev.  He was chosen there to be a deputy to the “Central Rade” (the provisional parliament in Ukraine), and he was a delegate to the Eighth Convention of the Bund in Petrograd (December 1917).  He returned to Warsaw in 1919 and was active in the political and trade union movement of the Bund, primarily among the bakers, butchers, and transport workers in Warsaw.  From 1920 to 1939, he was a presidium member of the Warsaw committee of the Bund.  He was a leader in the workers’ militia which had the task of defending the Jewish population in Poland from anti-Semitic attack.  During the Nazi occupation of Poland, he was one of the most vigorous leaders in the Jewish underground movement.  He was a member of the underground central committee of the Bund in Poland.  After the war, in 1945 he left Poland and for a time lived in Czechoslovakia, France, and Belgium; from there (in March 1946) he came to the United States.  He published Finf yor in varshever geto (Five years in the Warsaw Ghetto), revised and prepared for publication by V. Shulman, with a biographical preface by Y. Sh. Herts (New York, 1947), 498 pp. of text and 24 pp. of pictures.  This volume appeared in several editions and was translated into English, French, Spanish, and German.  He also wrote: 20 yor in varshever “bund”, 1919-1939 (Twenty years in the Warsaw Bund, 1919-1939) (New York: Unzer tsayt, 1960), xvi, 328 pp.  He died in New York.

Sources: Y. Herts, in Forverts (New York) (March 10, 1946); Hillel Rogof, in Forverts (October 25, 1947); P. Shvarts, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York) (January 1948); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (April 18, 1948); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (June 6, 1948); A. Leyeles, in Tog (June 26, 1948); Y. Pat, in Der veker (New York) (November 15, 1954); Sh. Slutski, Avrom reyzen biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen bibliography) (New York, 1956), no. 5293; Kh. L. Fuks, in Fun noentn over 3 (New York, 1957).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 141.]

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