Jewish labor organizing wasn’t limited to the United States. In 1897, organizers meeting in Minsk founded the Jewish Labor Bund to champion the rights of Jewish workers in Russia and Poland. The movement spread like wildfire, competing with Zionism and at one stage far outstripping the Bolsheviks in terms of size. Our shelves are full of histories and memoirs of the movement, including J. S. Hertz’s four-volume History of the Bund. Hertz’s The Bund in Pictures, however, is different. Published in New York in 1958, it remains the best illustrated history of the Bund. It’s all here: workers, intellectuals, martyrs, mass demonstrations, underground cells, rural safe houses, Yiddish cultural initiatives, and party newspapers. Also notable is the high proportion of women among the ranks of the Bund. The book is bilingual, so you can read it in either direction. P.S. Don’t miss the photo on page 49 of Mordecai (Mordkhe) Mazower, the grandfather of David Mazower, the Yiddish Book Center’s bibliographer.
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