Friday 22 April 2016


MEYER VASER (WASSER) (1890-September 7, 1953)
            He was born in Grayeve (Grajewo), Lomzhe district, Russian Poland, into a merchant household.  He was orphaned on his father’s side at age five.  He studied in religious primary school and secular subjects with private tutors.  He graduated from a Polish commercial school as an external student.  He moved to Warsaw in 1906, worked as a company employee, and at the same time was active in the Bundist movement.  He was arrested several times and placed in various jails.  During WWI he was a member of the central committee of trade unions in Warsaw.  He was one of the founders of the Bundist cooperatives and director of the publisher “Kultur-lige” (Culture league) in Warsaw.  From 1919 until WWII, he was a member—and for a time chairman—of the central committee of the Bund in Poland.  When the Germans, in September 1939, were approaching Warsaw, he left Poland, for a time lived in Pinsk, later until early 1941 in Vilna, and from there made his way to the United States where, until 1947, he was active in the American presence of the Bund in New York.  In 1946 he left America and returned to Poland with the hope of helping to build a new Jewish community there, but in 1947 when he was convinced that the Communist regime did not look favorably upon the renewal of Jewish life, he returned to the United States where he served as a member of the World Coordinating Committee of the Bund.  He began writing articles on the trade union movement in Lebns-fragen (Life issues) (Warsaw, 1916), and he contributed political and general articles to Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) in Warsaw, where for a time he was a member of the political editorial board of the newspaper.  He also wrote for: Der handls-ongeshtelter (The commercial employee), Dos profesyonele lebn (The professional life), Arbeter-luekh (Labor calendar), Kegn shtrom (Against the current), Bikher-velt (Book world), Bikher-nayes (Book news), Dos cooperative lebn (The cooperative life), and virtually all the Bundist trade union publications in Poland before WWII.  He co-edited (with Yoysef Khmurner) Kegn shtrom in Warsaw (1930-1934).  He also wrote for Naye folkstsaytung (New people’s newspaper) in Warsaw (1946-1948), and for Unzer tsayt (Our time) in New York, among other serials.  Among his pen names: Khayim, Kh. V., Kh. Rafalovitsh.  He died in New York.

Sources: D. Naymark, in Forverts (New York) (September 16, 1953); Tsukunft (New York) (October 1953); L. Oler, in Doyres bundistn (Generations of Bundists), vol. 2 (New York, 1956), pp. 40-50; E. Sh., L. Oler, and Sofye Dubnov-Erlikh, in Unzer tsayt (New York) (October 1953); B. Shefner, Novolipye 7, zikhroynes un eseyen (Nowolipie 7, memoirs and essays) (Buenos Aires, 1955), p. 41.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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