ELYE DIZHUR (ILJA DIJOUR) (April 10, 1896-October 1982)
He was born in Zvenigorodka (Zvenyhorodka), Kiev region. He graduated high school in1913. He studied, 1913-1914, in the law faculty at Zurich University. After the outbreak of WWI, he returned to Russia. Until the end of 1917 he was studying in the law faculty of St. Petersburg’s Psycho-Neurological Institute. In 1918 he graduated from the law faculty of Kiev University. He worked as a high school teacher of social science, 1918-1920. He was secretary, 1918-1919, of the Jewish People’s Party in Ukraine and a candidate to the Jewish founding meeting of the Umani region. Early in 1921 he left Russia and settled in Poland. He was secretary of the “Central Ukrainian Committee” in Poland, a member of the central committee of the Jewish People’s Party, and a collaborator with HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) in Poland. He directed the evacuation and the arrangement for the victims of pogroms in Ukraine. In 1923 he moved to Berlin. Over the years 1923-1925, he was secretary there, and later secretary-general, of Emigdirekt (United Jewish Emigration Committee) until 1927. In 1928 he moved to Paris, became a member of the secretariat “HITSES” (HIAS-YIKO-Emigdirekt), and held this position until the Nazi invasion in 1940. When HITSES evacuated in 1940 to Lisbon, Portugal, he organized the aid and emigration for Jewish refugees and victims of Hitler. He began his literary work in 1916-1917, while he was secretary for the editorial board of the Russian scholarly journal Vestnik znaniya (Messenger of knowledge). He was also a contributor to other Russian periodicals. Over the years 1925-1928, he placed pieces in Der veg (The way) and Jüdische Emigration (Jewish emigration) in Berlin (in German). He was a contributor to the German Jewish encyclopedia Jüdisches Lexikon (Jewish handbook), and he was the author of a book in French, Dix Années d’Emigration Juive (Ten years of Jewish emigration) (Paris, 1936), 152 pp. which also appeared in Yiddish. In Yiddish he published: Di moderne felker-vanderung (Modern migrations of peoples), with an introduction by Professor Libman Hersh (Berlin, 1929). He also contributed the following works: “Yidn in argentine” (Jews in Argentina), in vol. 4 of Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia); “Yidishe emigratsye fun eyrope beys der itsiker milkhome” (Jewish emigration from Europe during the current war), Yivo-bleter (Leaves from YIVO) 19 (1942), pp. 145-56; “Statistik fun umkum” (Death statistics), Yivo-bleter 22 (1943), pp. 201-14; “Di tsugreytung tsu der bermuder konferents” (Preparation for the Bermuda Conference), Yivo-bleter 21 (1943); and a series of articles in the English publications brought out by YIVO. He served as the research director for HIAS and was living in New York.
Sources: Af di khurves fun milkhomes un mehumes, pinkes fun “yekopo” (On the ruins of wars and turmoil, records of Yekopo [Yevreyskiy komitet pomoshchi zhertvam voyny—“Jewish Relief Committee for War Victims”]) (Vilna, 1930); Who’s Who in World Jewry (New York, 1955).