Sunday 16 October 2016


YITSKHOK TOYMIN (1877-January 21, 1937)
            He came from the Vitebsk region, Byelorussia.  He graduated from a Russian high school.   In his youth he joined the Russian socialist movement, later active in the Minsk and Vilna areas with the Bund.  In 1896 he moved to Berne, Switzerland, studied for a time at the local university, and returned to Russia thereafter.  He returned to Switzerland in 1901, and until late 1905 he was active in the foreign committee of the Bund.  He contributed to publishing illegal socialist literature in Yiddish and placed pieces in Der idisher arbayter (The Jewish worker) in Geneva.  He later returned to Vilna where he was a contributor to the first legal Bundist daily newspaper, Der veker (The alarm) and (right afterward in February 1906) to Di folkstsaytung (The people’s newspaper) in which, aside from a running chronicle, he published his own editorial and translations of others’ editorials from the Russian press, as well as feature pieces (using the pen names Fashun and Emilan).  He was later a contributor to the Bundist Di tsayt (The times) in St. Petersburg (1912) and other Bundist publications.  He worked with Y. Blumshteyn in translating Der komunistisher manifest (The Communist Manifesto) of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, published by the Bundist “Di velt” (The world), and Professor Gizicki’s Forlezungen iber sotsyale etik (Lectures on social ethics) for the “Group of Jewish socialists abroad” (Berne, 1896).  During the February-March Revolution in 1917, he was living in Minsk; he was elected in municipal elections in 1917 to the post of head of the municipal food supply, and he was very active in the local Bund.  He contributed at the time to Veker (Alarm) in Minsk, organ of the central committee of the Bund.  In 1919 he moved to Moscow and became an active leader of Komzet (Committee for the Settlement of Toiling Jews on the Land in the Soviet Union).  When there was a fracture in the Bund in Poland in 1920, he left with the Communist group of the party and later moved over to the general Communist Party of Russia.  He died in Moscow.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1 (col. 304 in the biography of Y. Blumshteyn); P. Anman, “Di ershte bundishe legale tsaytungen” (The first legal Bundist newspapers), in 25 yor—zamlbukh (Anthology at 25) (Warsaw, 1922), pp. 70-71; Vladimir Medem, Fun mayn lebn (From my life) (New York, 1923), pp. 167-70; A. Lev, in Visnshaftlekhe yorbikher (Scholarly annuals) (Moscow, 1929), pp. 112, 115, 116; John Mill, Pyonern un boyer (Pioneers and builders) vol. 2 (New York, 1949), see index; F. Kurski, Gezamlte shriftn (Collected writings) (New York, 1952), see index; American Jewish Yearbook (Philadelphia, 1937), p. 607.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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