«pl.it / rassegna italiana di argomenti polacchi», 13, 2022, pp. 17-31
DOI: 10.57616/PLIT_2022_02

David E. Fishman

Jewish Theological Seminary of America / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

1890-1914: The Golden Era of the Bund in the Russian Empire

ABSTRACT. This article provides an overview of the Bund from the establishment of its precursor organization in 1890 until World War I. First it takes into account the historical conditions that led to the rise of a distinct Jewish socialist movement in the Russian Empire to then focus on its three spheres of activity: (a) economic difficulties, as a Jewish workers’ movement engaged in union-organizing and strikes, (b) political challenges, as a Jewish revolutionary movement working to overthrow the Tsarist system and (c) national obstacles, as a movement fighting for Jewish civil rights and Jewish national autonomy, the advancement of Yiddish language and culture, and the organisation of Jewish self-defense against pogroms. Appended to the article is the translation of an early Bundist pamphlet, The Town Preacher (1895), which presents the movement’s ideas in a simple, popular form, based on the story of the single strike of Jewish tobacco-workers in Vilna.

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