Friday 26 August 2016


LEV (LEYB) ZINGER (1899-1957)

            He was a current events writer, demographer, and historian, born in Romny, Ukraine.  He graduated from high school and in 1925 from the economics department of Moscow State University.  That year he began working in the Central Statistics Administration of the Soviet Union.  Over the years 1926-1930, he was a contributor to the joint economics-statistics commission of the central management committee of ORT (Association for the Promotion of Skilled Trades) in Moscow as secretary of the labor bureau and later in the statistics planning division of Gezerd (All-Union Association for the Agricultural Settlement of Jewish Workers in the USSR), in the Scientific Association of Eastern Studies, in the Scientific Research Institute of Nationalities, and in the library of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.  He was evacuated to Siberia during WWII, and he was a member of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee.  After the war, he worked in the Aleksandr Pushkin State Museum of Painting.  In 1947 he defended in Moscow State University a dissertation entitled “Socio-Economic Assessments in Solving the Jewish Question in the USSR,” and he was given the title of “candidate in historical science.”

            As a Soviet Jewish historian, he spent twenty years devoted to research into the socio-economic history of the Jews in the Soviet Union, and his works were published in the Soviet press.  He was the author of: “Der tsolbashtand un di geografishe farshpreytung fun der yidisher bafelkerung fun fssr” (The numerical composition of the Jewish population of the USSR), in Yidn in fssr (Jews in the USSR) (Moscow, 1929); Di yidishe bafelkerung inem sovetn-farband (The Jewish population in the Soviet Union) (Moscow, 1932); Yidn proletaryer in fssr (Jewish proletariat in the USSR) (Moscow: Emes, 1933), 160 pp., which includes chapters entitled “Yidn-proletaryer in fssr in yor 1931” (Jewish proletariat in the USSR in 1931) and “Di struktur fun der yidisher arbetershaft in fssr” (The structure of Jewish labor in the USSR), with a supplement entitled “Der kvalifikatsye-grad fun di yidishe arbeter in bazundere unternemungen” (The qualifying degree of Jewish laborers in special undertakings); Der natsyonaler bashtand funem proletaryat in fssr (The ethnic composition of the proletariat in the USSR) (Moscow, 1934).  His works were full of statistical tables concerning leather workers, printers, food-industry workers, needle trades workers, chemists, timber workers, and more.  He compiled (with B. Engel): Yidishe bafelkerung fun f.s.s.r., in tabeles un diagrames (The Jewish population of the USSR, in tables and diagrams), volume 5 of Materyaln un oysforshungen (Materials and investigations), published (under the editorship and with a foreword by Z. Mindlin) by the Central People’s Publishers of the USSR, with financial assistance from ORT (Moscow, 1930), 25 tables and diagrams; Dos banayte folk (tsifern un faktn vegn di yidn in fssr) (The renewed people, figures and facts concerning Jews in the USSR) (Moscow: Emes, 1941), 124 pp.—“The task that we place here in this work,” they state in the foreword to this work, “constitutes the socio-economic totals of the redemption of the so-called ‘Jewish question’ in the Soviet Union.”  In 1932 he also published his book in Russian under the title Evreiskoie naselenie v Sovetskom Soyuze (The Jewish population in the Soviet Union) (Moscow: Ecponomic division of state publishers, 1932), 170 pp.  In the September 1948 issue of Tsukunft (Future) in New York was a notice about his book, Dos oyfgerikhte folk (The restored people), the socio-economic transformation of the Jewish population in the USSR (Moscow: Emes, 1948), 80 pp.

Sources: Nayerd (Moscow) (September 1933); N. Rubinshteyn, Dos yidishe bukh in sovetn-farband in 1934 (The Yiddish book in the Soviet Union in 1934) (Minsk, 1936), p. 1; A. D. Miral, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (May 27, 1947).

Zaynvl Diamant

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 264; and Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), p. 153.] 

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