Friday 29 April 2016


FROYM (FISHL) VASHITS (March 26, 1879-January 31, 1945)
            He was born in Yezyerne (Ozerna), eastern Galicia.  He graduated from high school in Zlatshev (Zolochiv) and Lemberg University as a lawyer.  From his student years, he was an active Zionist and a delegate to all Zionist congresses.  He was a leader in Jewish sports organizations in Galicia.  He served as an officer in the Austrian army during WWI.  He was a founder of Jewish self-defense in Lemberg during the pogroms of 1918.  In that year, out of fear of repression, he left Poland, traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he succeeded in influencing the world renowned writer Georg Brandes to appear publicly against the pogroms against Jews in Poland.  From Copenhagen he came to Vienna and from there to the land of Israel, where he lived in Jerusalem and Haifa and where over the course of years took a prominent role as a defender of Jews in English courts.  In 1930 he chose to join the Revisionist Party.  He began writing in Yiddish in Der yud (The Jew) in Cracow (1905-1907), of which he was a cofounder and co-editor.  He was also cofounder of Togblat (Daily newspaper) in Lemberg, where in 1918 he frequently wrote detailed articles concerned with the contemporary Jewish state of affairs in Galicia and Poland generally.  He died in Jerusalem.  After his death there appeared under the editorship of Dr. B. Lubutski a book dedicated to Vashits, entitled Derekh ḥayav shel tsiyoni loḥem (The path in life of a Zionist fighter) (Jerusalem: Aḥiasaf, 1947), 159 pp.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 4 (Tel Aviv, 1950), pp. 1805-6; Sefer haishim (Biographical dictionary) (Tel Aviv, 1936/1937), p. 345; Dr. M. Naygreshl, in Fun noentn over (New York) 1 (1955); Dr. N. M. Gelber, Toldot hatenua hatsiyonit begalitsiya (History of the Zionist movement in Galicia) (Jerusalem, 1958).

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