Monday 20 February 2017


ROMAN LOUIS (1864-1918)
            He hailed from southern Russia.  In the mid-1880s, he made his way to the United States.  He worked as a shirt-stitcher in New York.  He belonged to the Russian Progressive Union.  In 1886 he was among the founders of the anarchist group “Pioneers of Freedom” (Pyonere der frayhayt).  He led a fierce fight against the Jewish social democrats and against the Fareynikte yidishe geverkshaftn (United Hebrew Trades) which were founded with the help of the social democrats.  He organized a second anarchist group in Chicago, known as the Jewish Federation of Labor.  In 1889 he was a member of the editorial collective (with Yoysef Yaffa and others) of the Jewish anarchist weekly newspaper Di varhayt (The truth), and when the Jewish anarchists in July 1890 established their organ in New York, Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), he edited this newspaper (with Y. A. Merison) until the end of the year.  He also wrote for smaller anarchist publications in Philadelphia.  In book form he published: Der gezetslekher mord in shikago fun november 1887 (The legal murder in Chicago of November 1887) (New York, 1889), 30 pp.  He left the anarchist movement in 1892 and for two years was active among the social democrats in Chicago.  He later completely left the labor movement behind, became an official in the Democratic Party, and at the time of elections led campaigns for the Democratic candidates.  He committed suicide in Cincinnati.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Moyshe Shtarkman, in Yivo-bleter (Vilna) 4.4-5 (1932); Kalmen Marmor, Der onhoyb fun a yidisher literatur in amerike (The beginning of a Jewish literature in America) (New York, 1944); Marmor, Dovid edelshtadt (Dovid Edelshadt) (New York, 1950), see index; N. Goldberg, “Pyonere der frayhayt” (Pioneers of Freedom), Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (January 13, 1956).
Borekh Tshubinski

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