Thursday 17 December 2015


MORRIS HOLTMAN (February 17, 1885-December 8, 1949)
He was born in Poltava, Ukraine, into a merchant family.  Until age twelve he attended religious primary school, later a Russian school, and later still he graduated from university in Germany.  From 1902 he was active in the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party.  At that time he was writing stories in Russian under the pen name Mikhail Kotshevoy.  In 1912 he emigrated to the United States and subsequently settled in New York where he was a contributor to Fraynd (Friend) and Tsukunft (Future).  For many years he was a member of the Socialist Jewish Federation and later a co-founder of the Communist Party.  He served as editorial secretary of the illegal Communist weekly paper Der kamf (The struggle), and later of Funken (Sparks), of the revived Der kamf (July 1920-May 1921), and co-editor of Emes (Truth) in 1921—all published in New York.  He was one of the founders of Frayhayt (Freedom) in New York (April 1922)—and from September 1922 a standing member of the editorial board of the newspaper.  He also wrote under the pseudonyms: Mem Hey, Yunger Gayst, R. Kirsh, Morris Shvayger, M. Galin, and Moyshele Shtifer.  He translated (with R. Holtman) Lenin’s Der radikaler komunist (The radical Communist [original: Detskaya bolezn’ “levizny” v kommunizme (Infantile illness of “leftwing” Communism)]) (New York, 1920), 147 pp.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Dr. A. Ginzburg, in Tsayt (New York) (August 7, 1921); Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (December 9, 1949); Kh. Y. Kastrel, in Morgn-frayhayt (January 4, 1950).

Aleksander Pomerants

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