Sunday 1 October 2017


NOYEKH MAYZL (MAYZEL) (1891/1892-1956)
            He was born in Nyesvizh (Niasviž), Minsk region, Byelorussia.  His father, a person of authority in the Jewish community, was already somewhat modernized and sent his children to secular high school, where they became impregnated with progressive ideas and began to associate with common people.  In his student years, Noyekh Mayzl joined the Bundist movement.  In WWI he served as a military doctor in the Russian army.  After the war he settled in Dvinsk (Daugavpils).  In independent Latvia he was one of the revivers of the Bundist organization in the Latgale region (Dvinsk, Rezhitse [Rēzekne], Lyutsin [Ludza], and Kreslavke [Krāslava]).  He was the city doctor for sanitation, a city councilman, and a member of the Jewish community council representing the Bund.  He was later elected a deputy to the Latvian parliament (Saeima) on the Bundist ticket.  He was editor of the weekly newspaper Latgalskaia mysl’ (Latgale idea), which the Latvian Social Democratic Party published in Russian.  He was a regular contributor to the weekly Bundist organ, Naye tsayt (New times), Arbeter-yugnt (Working youth), and other periodical and non-periodical publications of the Bund in Latvia.  He was well-known as a speaker among the Jewish common folk in the country.  Following the fascist coup (1934), he and other leader socialists were dispersed to concentration camps in Libave (Liepāja), and later to prison; in July 1937 he successfully departed from Latvia at the invitation of YIVO in New York, for which he conducted a highly effective campaign in the United States.  He later returned to Latvia, and in 1940 when Soviet Russia occupied the country, he and other Latvian and Jewish socialists were arrested and banished to the far North, somewhere in the polar region, where he died in 1956.

Sources: Di tsukunft (New York) (December 1937); Y. L. Shatskes, in Yahadut latviya (Judaism in Latvia) (Tel Aviv, 1953), see index; Y. Sh. Herts, Doyres bundistn (Generations of Bundists), vol. 2 (New York, 1956), see index; Herts, Der bund in bilder (The Bund in pictures) (New York, 1958); information from Y. Levin-Shatskes and Dr. L. Fogelman in New York.

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