Vladimir Medem

Last updated
Vladimir Medem
VladimirMedem.jpg
Picture of Medem from the Medem Library in Paris
Born22 July 1879  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Died9 January 1923  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg (aged 43)

Vladimir Davidovich Medem, né Grinberg (Russian : Владимир Давидович Медем, Latvian : Vladimirs Mēdems; 30 July 1879 in Liepāja, Russian Empire 9 January 1923 in New York City), was a Russian Jewish politician and ideologue of the Jewish Labour Bund. The Medem library in Paris, the largest European Yiddish institution, bears his name.

Contents

Life

Son of a Russian medical officer who had converted from Judaism to Lutheranism, [1] Vladimir Medem was educated in a Minsk gymnasium. He studied later at the Kiev University and developed an interest in the Yiddish-speaking proletariat and their harsh living conditions. He was preoccupied by the fact that the Russian Jews had no nation and no right to strike. In spite of his interest in Jewish affairs, Medem did not re-convert to Judaism.

Medem only learned Yiddish at the age of 22; the language was taboo in his family environment. Because of a student strike in 1899, he had to leave the university and joined the Minsk socialists, inspired by Marxist friends. His great interest in the world of Yiddish-speaking workers and the political antisemitism made him the leading ideologue of the Jewish Labour Bund, whose supporters were especially well represented among the immigrants in Paris, and were also called Bundists. Medem emigrated to New York in 1921 and died less than two years later. He is buried at the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Queens, NY.

The Jewish Labour Bund, founded in 1897 in the Lithuanian Vilnius, was committed to the cultural and national rights of Jews in Eastern Europe. In this regard, Medem dared to oppose the view of Russian Marxists, and even of Lenin. These objectives received support in Central and Western Europe, e.g. from Austromarxists, and especially in several Jewish immigrant workers' clubs in Paris, whose members described themselves as Bundists. One such club, which also saw the education of the workers as its main task was given the name Arbeter-klub afn nomen Vladimir Medem (Workers' Club on behalf of Vladimir Medem). His educational policy ambitions culminated in 1929 in the founding of the Medem Library  [ de; fr ], which at 30,000 volumes is now the largest Yiddish cultural institution in Europe.

Main writings

See also

Related Research Articles

Yiddishism is a cultural and linguistic movement which began among Jews in Eastern Europe during the latter part of the 19th century. Some of the leading founders of this movement were Mendele Moykher-Sforim (1836–1917), I. L. Peretz (1852–1915), and Sholem Aleichem (1859–1916).

Mikhail Liber Russian Bundist politician

Mikhail Isaakovich Liber, sometimes known as Mark Liber, was a leader of the General Jewish Workers' Union. He also played a role in the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Party (RSDRP) and was a leading figure among the Mensheviks. Liber was instrumental in the soviets during the February Revolution of 1917 but opposed to October Revolution. He was reportedly shot during the Purges. Liber played a defining role in the development of the Bund and helped shaped the policies of the leaders of the February Revolution.

Zionist-Socialist Workers Party, often referred to simply as Zionist-Socialists or S.S. by their Russian initials, was a Jewish territorialist and socialist political party in the Russian Empire and Poland, that emerged from the Vozrozhdenie (Renaissance) group in 1904. The party held its founding conference in Odessa in 1905.

Di Shvue

"Di Shvue" was written by S. Ansky in 1902. This Yiddish song became the anthem of the socialist, General Jewish Labour Bund in the early 1900s. The source of its melody is unknown. Bundists sing this song virtually every time they meet. For example, it was sung at the 100th anniversary (1998) of the General Jewish Labour Bund in Paris, Marek Edelman's funeral, and the 50th anniversary (2009) reunion of Camp Hemshekh. The song exhorts Jews to unite, and to commit themselves body and soul to the defeat of the Russian Tsar and of capitalism.

General Jewish Labour Bund in Romania Political party in Romania

The General Jewish Labour Bund in Romania was a Jewish socialist party in Romania, adhering to the political line of the General Jewish Labour Bund. Founded in 1922, shortly after the establishment of Greater Romania, it united Jewish socialists in Bukovina, Bessarabia and the Romanian Old Kingdom. Standing for the lay wing of the Jewish representative movement, the Romanian Bund had atheistic leanings and offered an alternative to the mainstream Jewish organization. Like other Bundist groups, but unlike the Marxist-inspired Poale Zion bodies of Bessarabia, it rejected Zionism.

Arbeter-ring in Yisroel – Brith Haavoda Political party in Israel

The Arbeter-ring in Yisroel – Brith Haavoda was the Israeli branch of the International Jewish Labor Bund, launched in 1951 and disbanded in 2019.

Jewish Socialist Federation

The Jewish Socialist Federation (JSF) was a secular Jewish Yiddish-oriented organization founded in 1912 which acted as a language federation in the Socialist Party of America (SPA). Many of the founding members of the JSF had previously been members of the Bund in Eastern Europe and sought to bring Bundist politics to the socialist movement in the USA.

"Bund" in Latvia Jewish party in Latvia

The "Bund" in Latvia was a Jewish socialist party in Latvia between the two World Wars, adhering to the political line of the General Jewish Labour Bund.

General Jewish Labour Bund in Poland Political party in Poland

The General Jewish Labour Bund in Poland was a Jewish socialist party in Poland which promoted the political, cultural and social autonomy of Jewish workers, sought to combat antisemitism and was generally opposed to Zionism.

<i>Der arbeyter</i> Yiddish-language weekly newspaper published

Der arbeyter was a Yiddish-language newspaper, issued by the Polish Socialist Party (PPS). The newspaper was launched in 1898, named after a Galician Jewish social democratic publication by the same name. Der arbeyter was initially published from London.

The Austromarxist principle of national personal autonomy, developed by Otto Bauer in his 1907 book Die Nationalitätenfrage und die Sozialdemokratie was seen by him a way of gathering the geographically divided members of the same nation to "organize nations not in territorial bodies but in simple association of persons", thus radically disjoining the nation from the territory and making of the nation a non-territorial association. The other ideological founders of the concept were another Austromarxist, Karl Renner, in his 1899 essay Staat und Nation, and the Jewish Labour Bundist Vladimir Medem, in his 1904 essay Di sotsial-demokratie un di natsionale frage.

Arkadi Kremer Russian Bundist politician

Arkadi Kremer was a Russian socialist leader known as the 'Father of the Bund'. This organisation was instrumental in the development of Russian Marxism, the Jewish labour movement and Jewish nationalism.

Di Tsayt was a Yiddish language weekly newspaper published from Saint Petersburg, Russia. It was an organ of the General Jewish Labour Bund. Whilst the editorial team of Di Tsayt was based in the Austrian capital of Vienna, officially Saint Petersburg was the site of publishing for the journal. Prominent editors included Esther Frumkin, Raphael Abramovitch, Vladimir Medem, Henryk Ehrlich, Moisei Rafes and D. Zaslavsky.

International Jewish Labor Bund Jewish socialist organization

The International Jewish Labor Bund was a New York-based international Jewish socialist organization, based on the legacy of the General Jewish Labour Bund founded in the Russian empire in 1897 and the Polish Bund that was active in the interwar years. The IJLB is composed by local Bundist groups around the world. It was an "associated organisation" of the Socialist International, similar in status to the World Labour Zionist Movement or the International League of Religious Socialists. The World Coordinating Council/Committee of the Jewish Labor Bund was dissolved in New York in the mid-2000s., although local Bundist groups or groups inspired by the Jewish Labor Bund still exist in France, the UK, Australia and the State of Israel.

Bundism Secular Jewish socialist movement

Bundism was a secular Jewish socialist movement whose organizational manifestation was the General Jewish Labour Bund in Lithuania, Poland and Russia, founded in the Russian Empire in 1897.

Jewish left Movement of activists whose Judaism informs their support left-wing or liberal causes

The Jewish left consists of Jews who identify with, or support, left-wing or left-liberal causes, consciously as Jews, either as individuals or through organizations. There is no one organization or movement which constitutes the Jewish left, however. Jews have been major forces in the history of the labor movement, the settlement house movement, the women's rights movement, anti-racist and anti-colonialist work, and anti-fascist and anti-capitalist organizations of many forms in Europe, the United States, Algeria, Iraq, Ethiopia, and modern-day Israel. Jews have a rich history of involvement in anarchism, socialism, Marxism, and Western liberalism. Although the expression "on the left" covers a range of politics, many well-known figures "on the left" have been of Jews who were born into Jewish families and have various degrees of connection to Jewish communities, Jewish culture, Jewish tradition, or the Jewish religion in its many variants.

General Jewish Labour Bund Jewish socialist party in the Russian Empire

The General Jewish Labour Bund in Lithuania, Poland and Russia, generally called The Bund or the Jewish Labour Bund, was a secular Jewish socialist party initially formed in the Russian Empire and active between 1897 and 1920. In 1917 the Polish part of the Bund, which dated to the times when Poland was a Russian territory, seceded from the Russian Bund and created a new Polish General Jewish Labour Bund which continued to operate in Poland in the years between the two world wars. The majority faction of the Russian Bund was dissolved in 1921 and incorporated into the Communist Party. Other remnants of the Bund endured in various countries. A member of the Bund was called a Bundist.

Liebmann Hersch

Pesach Liebmann Hersch, also Liebman Hersh, was a professor of demography and statistics at the University of Geneva, and an intellectual of the Jewish Labor Bund, whose pioneering work on Jewish migration achieved international recognition in the period after the First World War.

<i>Der Veker</i> (Minsk) Yiddish Newspaper

Der Veker was a Yiddish language newspaper published from Minsk 1917–1941. Initially a Bundist publication founded in the midst of the 1917 revolutions, it continued publishing as a Communist Party organ until 1925.

Aron Vainshtein

Aron Vainshtein, known by the nom de guerreRakhmiel, was a Jewish politician in Soviet Belorussia. Vainshtein was born in Vilna in 1877.

References

  1. "YIVO | Medem, Vladimir Davidovich". www.yivoencyclopedia.org. Retrieved 2016-12-09.