Wednesday 2 September 2015


JERZY GLIKSMAN (June 23, 1902-September 14, 1958)
            He was born in Warsaw, Poland, into a prominent family, the brother of Viktor (Wiktor, Victor) Alter.  He studied law at the Universities of Warsaw and Paris.  From the years of his youth, he was active in the Bund.  During WWII, he was in Warsaw where he was engaged in his legal work.  At the same time, he was an active community leader, legal counsel for the Jewish trade unions in Poland, and a councilor on the Warsaw city council.  In September 1939, at the start of WWII, he left Warsaw for Soviet terrain, and there he was arrested.  He was imprisoned in Russian jails and camps, from which he was freed following the amnesty for Polish citizens living in Russia (August 1941).  He lived for a time in Central Asia and was active in the Polish aid committee for refugees in Russia.  When the Polish army left Russia, he left with it for Iran, later continuing on to the land of Israel where he organized a number of actions on the part of the “Jewish workers committee” in America.  In 1946 he came to the United States.  For a time he managed the “Jewish workers committee” in Chicago.  He authored a number of works in French and Polish, such as: L’aspect economique de la question juive en Pologne (The economic aspect of the Jewish question in Poland) (Paris, 1929), 196 pp.; Struktura zawodowa í społeczna ludności żydowskiej w Polsce (Professional and social structure of the Jewish population in Poland) (Warsaw, 1930), 56 pp.[1]  He contributed articles on political and economic questions to: Naye folkstsaytung (New people’s newspaper) in Warsaw; Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) (Vilna) 3.1 (1932), pp. 5-16, where he published his work “Yidn-baamte in melukhishn un tsiviln dinst in poyln” (Jewish civil officials in state and civil service in Poland); Undzer tsayt (Our time) in Warsaw; and Unzer tsayt (Our time) in New York; among others.  Using the pen name “Dr. Feliks,” he described his experiences in Soviet prisons and camps in the Forverts (Forward) in New York (1946-1947), in which he revealed to the world this bloody chapter of Soviet forced labor camps.  These depictions were later published in a book in English entitled Tell the West (New York, 1948), 358 pp. and in a more specialized, abridged edition brought out by the “Committee for a Free Europe.”  He was a witness at the trial of David Ruse against the Communist newspaper Lettre française in Paris, in connection with forced labor in the Soviet Union.  He died in Washington.

Jerzy Gliksman and his wife Łucja, with Józef Czapski (Paris, 1950)

Sources: N. Sh. (Shvalbe), in Nasz Przegląd (Our review) (Warsaw) (August 9, 1929); Sh. H. (Hirshhorn), in Nasz Przegląd (Our review) (November 26, 1929); Unzer tsayt (New York) (September 1946); Unzer shtime (Paris) (September 27, 1950); Faktn un meynungen (Facts and opinions) (New York, January 1951); Revue d’Économie Politique (Paris) (1930).

[1] Translator’s note.  The text cites these two works in Yiddish translation only, without distinguishing which was Polish and which French.  While the former appears clearly to be the French title above, the latter Polish title seems to be a (possibly shortened?) version of his French thesis: Les juifs de Pologne au point de vue professionnel et social; evolution historique, état actuel, perspectives d’avenir (Paris, 1929), 196 pp.—JAF.

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