MAKS-MARIAN (MAX) MUSHKAT (MUSZKAT) (November 5, 1909-September 30, 1995)
He was born in Suvalk (Suwałki), Russian Poland. He graduated from a Polish state high school and studied law and political science at the Universities of Warsaw, Paris, and Nancy, from when he received his doctoral degree. He was active in the student organizations of Hashomer Hatsair (The young guard), the left Labor Zionists, as well as ORT (Association for the Promotion of Skilled Trades), YIVO, and others. From 1938 he was an assistant in the Department of Criminology in the Wszechnica Polska University in Warsaw. When the Germans occupied Warsaw in 1939, he left for Vilna, worked for a time for the aid committee for Jewish refugees from Poland, and later served as director of the Department of European Government Systems in Vilna People’s University, while adapting and writing for YIVO the research projects: “Di yidishe farbrekherishkeyt in poyln in di yorn erev der tsveyte velt-milkhome” (Jewish criminality in Poland in the year prior to WWII), “a continuation of Professor Libman Hersh’s works”; and “Arn liberman als mitgrinder fun yidishn sotsyalizm” (Arn Liberman as the cofounder of Jewish socialism). Following the Nazi invasion of Russia in 1941, he fled from Vilna. For a time he worked as a teacher of foreign languages, later as a scientific contributor at the pedagogical institute in Kyzylorda, Irkutsk region, Soviet Russia. He was later mobilized into the Polish army, graduated from officers’ school, was a colonel’s replacement from the first tank division, and survived the battles at the front as far as the areas of Warsaw and eastern Germany. Right after the war, he was vice-president of the highest Polish military court, author of the new Polish military penal code, and at the same time cofounder of the first Yiddish literary association in Lublin in 1945. In 1946 he was director of the Polish Mission to the International War Court in Nuremburg. He was nominated in 1947 for the Polish Legation in the Commission on War Crimes of the United Nations in London, and as a prosecutor he prepared the Polish trials against Nazi war criminals: Arthur Greiser, Ammon Goeth, Ludwig Fischer, Rudolf Hess, Albert Forster, Josef Bühler, and against the staff at Auschwitz and other death camps. For his successes in the battles against the Nazis and the work of building Jewish life in Poland, he was decorated with high Polish and Soviet awards. He was the revivor and until 1951 the first president of Polish ORT, a member of the ORT world center, and professor of international law at Warsaw University, in the Academy of Polish Sciences, and in the senior school for law named for Teodor Duracz. He was simultaneously active in the Jewish community and cultural movement in Poland. From 1957 he was living in Israel. He was professor of international law at the higher school for law and political economy in Tel Aviv. During the Eichmann trial, he helped prepare the accusation materials for Yad Vashem. He began his writing activities with sketches and stories in: Der fraynd (The friend) in Warsaw (1934-1935); Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Zibn teg (Seven days), and in leftist, semi-legal and illegal publications in Poland. He was a contributor, 1940-1941, to Vilner emes (Vilna truth) and Kovner emes (Kovno truth), in which he launch his story in May 1941. From 1944 to 1951, he wrote a great number of works, mostly about war crimes in Polish, French, and English, later published essays in: Di goldene keyt (The golden chain), Molad (Birth), Davar (Word), Had haḥinukh (Echo of education), Hayom (Today), Hatoran (The duty officer), Hagesher (The bridge), Al hamishmar (On guard), and the publications of Yad Vashem and other serials in Israel. He published over twenty important works in Hebrew, Polish, French, English, and German. In Yiddish: Der farfolgter (The persecuted), a dramatic study in three acts (Warsaw, 1932), 72 pp. He died in Haifa.
Sources: Dos naye lebn (Lodz) (1946-1948), during the era of the trials of Nazi war criminals; Yonas Turkel, Nokh der bafrayung (After liberation) (Buenos Aires, 1959), see index; Khane Altshuler, in Yizker-bukh suvalk (Remembrance volume for Suwałki) (New York, 1961), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks