VLADIMIR KOSOVSKI (ca. 1867-October 19, 1941)
He was born Nokhum-Mendl Levinson in Dvinsk (Dinaburg, Daugavpils), Latvia. He father was a wealthy follower of the Jewish Enlightenment who wrote for the Polish and Russian press and was the author of Hebrew books and one book in German. Kosovski was raised in Kovno and was expelled from the local high school for belonging to a revolutionary circle. From 1894 he was living in Vilna. He was a cofounder of the Bund in 1897 and one of its theoreticians and lead publicists. From 1900, following his release from arrest, he lived in Geneva, Berne, and Berlin. He traveled illegally to Russia and then again went abroad—to Switzerland, Berlin, and Paris. Over the years 1930-1939, he was one of the most important Bundist writers in Poland. At the time of WWII, he made his way to the United States in 1941. He debuted in print in Russian, later mastering Yiddish (around 1897), when he was editing Bundist publications in the vernacular, although he first began to write directly in Yiddish in 1911. In his youth he wrote Russian poetry and stories, but he later turned completely to Bundist political journalism. He mainly wrote for purely party publications: Letste pasirungen (Latest happenings) (1901-1905) abroad; Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper) in Vilna (1906-1907); the weekly Di tsayt (The times) in St. Petersburg (1913); Lebens-fragen (Life issues), Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), Yugnt-veker (Youth alarm), and Unzer tsayt (Our time)—all in Warsaw; and Unzer tsayt in New York; among others. He contributed as well to Di naye velt (The new world) in New York (before it became Communist). From 1911 he placed work for two decades in Tsukunft (Future) in New York. He edited or co-edited: Der idisher arbayter (The Jewish worker) (the first four issues, while living in Vilna), Di arbayter-shtime (The workers’ voice), and the daily Der veker (The alarm) (Vilna, January 16-February 1906) which after being shut down by the authorities came out under the title Folks-tsaytung (March 4-September 1, 1907). He published a pamphlet, Der idisher khurbn in rusland (The Jewish destruction in Russia) (New York: Central Association of the Bund in America, 1915), 63 pp. He died in New York.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; John Mill, Pyonern un boyer (Pioneers and builders) (New York, 1949), see index; Shloyme Mendelson, Shloyme mendelson, zayn lebn un shafn (Shloyme Mendelson, his life and work) (New York, 1949), pp. 441-46; F. Kurski, Gezamlte shriftn (Collected works) (New York, 1952), see index; Y. Sh. Herts, Doyres bundistn (Generations of Bundists), vol. 1 (New York, 1956), pp. 11-67; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).