Tuesday 26 March 2019


FRANTS KURSKI (1874-January 17, 1950)
            He was born Shmuel Kohn in Boysk (Bauska), Courland.  He received a Jewish religious and a general education.  Over the years 1893-1899, he lived in Warsaw and Lodz.  For several years he studied history and economics in Berlin.  He spent time in prison for his illegal political work.  He was one of the principal leaders of the Bund.  He assumed the leadership and organization of the Bund’s archives in Geneva, which were later transferred to Berlin and ultimately to New York, where it developed into an important, historical source on the Jewish labor movement.  In 1941 he moved from Paris to the United States.  He began writing in 1901 in German.  After WWI he was publishing in the Bundist serials: Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), Veker (Alarm), Unzer tsayt (Our time), and Lebens fragen (Life issues) in Warsaw.  From 1919 in Tsukunft (Future) in New York; and later still in: Veker and Unzer tsayt in New York.  He wrote articles of socio-political, ideological, and historical character.  He placed work in the Yiddish Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia) and in Historishe shriftn (Historical writings) of YIVO (Vilna, 1939).  He co-edited Di yidishe sotsyalistishe bavegung biz der grindung fun bund (The Jewish socialist movement until the founding of the Bund) (Vilna-Paris: YIVO, 1939), 836 pp.  He also wrote a little poetry, some of which appears in his Gezamlte shriftn (Collected writings) (New York: Der veker, 1952), 423 pp.  Pen names include: Sh. K., Shin-Kuf, Shmidt, Blumen, and Volf Varshavski.  He died in New York.

Sources: R. Abramovitsh, in Forverts (New York) (January 20, 1950); Tsvien, in Forverts (January 21, 1950); V. Shulman, in Unzer tsayt (New York) 2 (1950); Y. Shatski, in Fraye arbeter shtime (New York) (March 3, 1950); Zalmen Shneur, in Forverts (March 12, 1950); G. Aronson, in Tsukunft (New York) 12 (1952); H. Abramovitsh, in Foroys (Mexico City) (January 1, 1953); Di geshikhte fun bund (The history of the Bund) (New York, 1960), see index; A. Menes, preface to Kurski’s Gezamlte shriftn (Collected writings) (New York, 1952).
Yisroel Figa

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