Friday 24 July 2015


SH. S. GARSON (1861-February 27, 1944)
            This was the adopted name of Shmuel-Gershon Slobodkin.  He was born in Slutsk (Sluck), Byelorussia.  He studied in the Vilna Jewish Teachers’ Institute.  Due to his underground revolutionary activity, in 1884 he had to leave the Institute and emigrate to the United States.  He lived for a time in Boston. where he organized the “Jewish Educational Society” (Yidishe dertsiungs-gezelshaft).  He later moved to Baltimore where he joined the anarchist “Pioneers of Freedom.”  In the summer of 1890, he took part, as a delegate from the Baltimore group, in a conference at which was founded the anarchist newspaper Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor).  For many years, Garson lived in the western and southern states.  He returned to New York shortly before WWII.  In 1942 he participated in a contest concerned with biography at YIVO.  Of the 223 autobiographies that were submitted, he received for his work second prize.  The manuscript of his autobiography can be found in the YIVO archives.  A few sections of it, such as his memories of the time when he worked closely with Fraye arbeter shtime, he published in this newspaper over the years 1943-1944.  He died in Brooklyn, New York.  On December 27, 1957 Fraye arbeter shtime in New York published a few chapters of his memoirs under the title “Zikhroynes fun eynem fun di ershte fa’sh farvalters” (Memories of one of the first Fraye arbeter shtime managers).

Sources: Geshikhte fun der yidisher arbeter bavegung in di fareynikte shtatn (History of the Jewish labor movement in the United States), ed. A. Tsherikover (New York, 1945), see index; Dr. H. Frank, in Fraye arbeter shtime (April 1944).

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