Friday 19 January 2018


YEKHIEL NAYMAN (February 1, 1894-July 10, 1953)
            He was born in Driltsh (Iłża), Radom region, Poland.  His father was a poor baker.  He studied in religious elementary school, and at age eleven went to live with relatives in Warsaw and there became a boot stitcher, while at the same time turning to self-education and reading socialist literature.  From 1915 he was active in the Bundist trade unions in Warsaw, especially the teachers’ union, in which he also assumed the position of general secretary.  After the Bundist conference in Danzig in 1921, he switched and joined the “Kombund” (Communist Labor Bund).  He lived in Berlin, 1923-1924, where he worked as a designer of women’s coats, while at the same time studying in the senior high school for general education.  In 1925 he settled in Paris, and there for many years he remained active on the left, primarily in the field of Yiddish culture.  In 1937 he took part in the conference of the first IKUF (Jewish Cultural Association) in Paris.  Following the Moscow Show Trials, he cut off ties to the left and returned to activity with the Bundist organization.  During WWI he participated in the underground Bundist movement.  In postwar Paris, he assumed a leading position in Jewish community life, offered considerable relief to accommodating writers, painters, and actors among the survivors who came to France with no prospects for their existence.  In 1948 he served as a delegate to the founding conference of the World Jewish Culture Congress in New York.  He was later selected to serve as European secretary to the organization.  He attended a variety of Bundist congresses and was a member of the world coordinating committee of the Bund.  He was initially co-editor and later editor of the Parisian daily Unzer shtime (Our voice), in which he published articles on social and Jewish community issues.  He was also co-editor of Parizer shriftn (Parisian writings).  In 1950 he visited the United States on a community assignment.  He died of a heart attack in Paris.  His wife Hinde was murdered by the Nazis.

Sources: Y. Pat, Di tsukunft (New York) (February 1945); Y. Yanasovitsh, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (March 18, 1953); Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Unzer shtime (Paris) (July 13, 1953; July 14, 1953); Sh. Gros, in Unzer shtime (July 13-14, 1953); L. Shtern, in Unzer shtime (July 16, 1953); H. Abramovitsh, in Unzer shtime (July 18, 1953; July 19, 1953; August 10, 1953; September 25, 1953); F. Naymark, in Unzer shtime (July 27, 1953); Y. Yakubovitsh, in Unzer kiem (Paris) (July 1953); Avrom Shulman, in Unzer shtime (August 10, 1953); D. Meyer, in Unzer tsayt (New York) (September 1953); Meyer, in Doyres bundistn (Generations of Bundists), vol. 2 (New York, 1956), see index; L. Kurland, in jubilee issue of Unzer shtime (November 1955).
Benyomen Elis

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