Sunday 15 April 2018


            He was born in Vilkovishki (Vilkaviškis), Suvalk district, Lithuania, into a family which drew its pedigree back to R. Tuvim-Margolin, author of Sipure yeshurun (Stories of Jerusalem).  His father was a baker, but also a scholar.  He studied in religious elementary school, and later acquired secular subject matter through self-study.  At age fifteen he became a brush maker and joined the Bund.  He was a cofounder of the bush union.  In 1905 at the time of the first Russian Revolution, he was arrested, and he later fled to Switzerland, took part in the sixth conference of the Bund as well as in the work of the Bund’s foreign committee, while at the same time studying at the University of Berne.  He graduated in 1909 from the law faculty and in 1911 from the philosophy department and received his doctoral degree for a dissertation, entitled Die Anfänge der sozialistischen Bewegung unter den russischen Juden (The beginning of the socialist movement among Russian Jews), a portion of which (92 pp.) appeared in book form in German (Berne, 1912).  His second doctoral work, on Adam Smith and Karl Marx, appeared in 1913 in German (Berne, ca. 200 pp.).  He contributed to the daily newspapers of the Bund, Der veker (The alarm) and Di folkstsaytung (The people’s newspaper) in Vilna (1905-1907), and to the legal and illegal Bundist publications in Yiddish and Russian.  In 1914 he moved to the United States, where he ran a factory making bird cages.  He also placed articles and essays in Di tsukunft (The future) in New York, in which he published: “Dos internatsyonale rekht” (International rights), “Krigs-kontroband un di prayz-gerikht” (War contraband and price law), “Lasal als yurist” (Lassalle as a jurist) of 1914, “A lig fun natsyonen” (A league of nations) of 1919—concerned with international law—“Der bund un zayn badaytung af der idisher gas” The Bund and its significance on the Jewish street), “Der id un di rushishe revolutsye” (The Jew and the Russian Revolution), “Vladimir medem, der revolutsyoner un der shriftshteler” (Vladimir Medem, the revolutionary and the writer) of 1923, and “Di rusishe revolutsye, di bolshevikes” (The Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks) of May-October 1938.  In the collection Karl marks, zayn leben, zayn virken un zayne lehren, 1818-1918 (Karl Marx, his life, his impact, and his teachings, 1818-1918), edited by Tsvien (New York, 1918), pp. 113-26, he published the piece, “Karl marks als publitsist” (Karl Marx as a journalist).  He also published articles in: Der fraynd (The friend) and Unzer tsayt (Out time) in New York, among them: “Der bershter-bund” (The brush union) in Unzer tsayt (July 1941).  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Y. Yeshurin, in Unzer tsayt (New York) (May 1943); F. Kurski, Gezamlte shriftn (Collected writings) (New York, 1952), pp. 137, 167, 356.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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