Hertz - The Bund's Nationality Program and Its Critics [YIVO 1969] | Social Democracy | Socialism



incorporated Polish Jewish, workers in their organization, which later became part of the Bund. Following the revolution of 1905 mass emigration and 'internal Jewish migration sharply reduced the Jewish settlement in Lithuania. Correspondingly the influence of the Lithuanians declined^ a trend reflected also in the Jewish labor movement." In sum: (1) Regional factors had a decisive influence on the rise and growth of the Jewish labor movement in the period under consideration, tending to invest it with a national character. (2) Precisely the differentiation of the regional characteristics in thé Jewish labór movement leads to an integral conception of its history, namely that its development must be' studied in the first place on the broad canvas of'the general history oí Russian Jewry in its regional peculiarities* and their dynamic context.

The Bund's Nationality Program and Its Critics in the Russian, Polish and Austrian Socialist Movements*

7T Grinbaum, op. cit., pp. 62-63; Hersch, L., ,Di yidishe emigratsye (Vilna 1913), p. 164.

When new winds began to blow in the social and political atmosphere of Eastern Europe in the 19th century the Jews could not remain isolated from them. Revolutionary and political movements, conspiracies and uprisings, such as the Polish Uprising of 1863, the Narodniki groupings, the Polish party Proletariat, came itìto being in Russia and Poland in which only Jewish individuals participated and not the masses. These Jewish revolutionaries did not set for themselves any specific roles in Jewish life. On the contrary, through their participation in the revolutionary movement they loosened their ties with the Jewish'milieu. The leaders and theoreticians of the revolutionary movement in those days were oriented toward the peasantry as the potential revolutionary mass force that would bring the promised salvation. The Jews had no peasantry, consequently they did not figure in revolutionary plans. In 1875 Vpered, appearing in London under the editorship of Peter Lavrov, published an anonymous correspondence by a Vilna Jew on the Jewish condition. Among others, the correspondent said: "The Russian people suffers. It is being strangled by the hand of him who also stamps upon us. Who can remain indifferent to this? . . . The Russian muzhik is our brother. For us socialists there are no nationalities, no race divisions. All of us living in Russia are Russians. . . . We are RussiansI"^
• Paper read at the YIVO Conference on Jewish Participation in Movements Devoted to the, Cause of Social Progress. 1 Vpered, no. 16, Sept. 1, 1875 (london).


11. The convention recognized the Jewish Labor Bund as an autonomous organization. civic and political liberation. as that Vilna correspondent had said: "We are Russiansl" Addresses delivered by Jewish workers in Vilna on May 1. crafts and trade in Russia. If socialism means the abolition of injustice and the establishment of equality then these boons are not merely for individuals. In several large cities and factory centers a movement of Jewish workers sprang up. the Polish Socialist Party refused to recognize the Jewish labor movement and declared war on the Jewish 3 Di naye epokhe in der yidisher arbayter-bavegung (Geneva). 1892. The history of the Jews . ."® Three years later. Marxist orientation the following conclusion:. There is no need to go into the villages or outside the Pale of Settlement. one of die top leaders of the Jewish Social Democratic movement. Oct. 17. . Among the most important were: the growth of industry. It never occurred to the Jewish workers to say. cit. but also for the historically developed groupings of mankind. . for the defense of Jewish interests can be undertaken only by a Jewish organization free to act at discretion. in consonance with Plekhanov's famous dictum: the revolution in Russia will win as a workers movement or—not win at all. His words bore the approval of the leadership of the movement. * Ostensibly. July 1898.® On the other hand.. If it is to be the workers who will bring victory. He was replaced by the worker. adduced also several Jewsh motives for the necessity of a united Jewish workers organization in the country. Two decades afterward this same Vilna became the center of an awakening Jewish working class and a rising Jewish revolutionary labor movement. HERTZ THE BUND'S NATIONALITY PROGRAM 55 This is a crystal-clear statement. 4 Di arbayter shtime. then we have them also among the Jews. 6 Op. contained such utterances as: "Let us fight like heroes IQT our nation and mankind. . whiph established internationalism on entirely different bases. Chetyre rechi evreiskikh rabochikh (Geneva 189S). the rising secularization of Jewish life. independent in matters Jewish. the ascendancy of the Marxist point of view among the revolutionary elements. without interference of the general party. This movement set the tasks of the revolutionaries and the socialists in a different light. . But being divided into separate groups it will not be able to enter that party. called nations. which should be the leader and teacher of the Jewish proletariat in -its struggle for economic. .54 JACOB S. nos. in the surety that thereby we shall not cease participating in the worldwide movement in general and in the Russian in particular. The same line of thought was also accepted at the founding convention of the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party on March 13-15. . 1897. at the very inception of the Jewish Labor Bund there was the understanding that the Jewish workers have to form an organized unit and fight for equality of rights as Jews and that they have to be united in one social democratic party with the proletariat of the country. He said: "We have to stress constantly the demand for civic equality for the Jews The time is coming when a general Russian workers party will be founded. 1898. There has never been a nation in the world that underwent martyrdom with such steadfastness as the Jewish. We have to endow our movement with a definite Jewish character. 1897 (Ulegal periodical of the Bund)." He continued to say that the awakening in a people of "the striving for liberation from civic inequality is one of the tasks of a socialist party. 2 Pervoe maia. . A number of causes underlay this change. 1892. The national indifference of the Jewish masses is a hindrance in the awakening of their class consciousness. has also its pages of glory. 9-10."^ At the founding convention of the Jewish Labor Bund on October 7-9. Our task should be to arouse them from both their national and class indifEerence. no. in the same city and on a similar occasion. The last meant an end of the orientation to the peasant as the instrument of the coming revolution. Arkady Kremer." Another said: "We Jews need not be ashamed of belonging to the so-called disgraced Jewish race. Some of the Jewish secular intelligentsia already active in the revolutionary movement drew from the new. He said:' \ "We have to state openly and clearly that the aim of the Jewish Social Democrats consists in the founding of a special Jewish workers organization. The Jewish proletariat will certainly occupy a given place. but thoroughly naive. Julius Martov-Zederbaum addressed a group of agitators. There can be no internationalism without nationalities. The article "Unzere tsiln" was reprinted in no. but as an autonomous collective. . 6. Let us—the young generation—follow in the footsteps of our forefathers and manifest our perseverance in the fight for the liberation of mankind.

It was resolved to continue the discussion among the membership at large and thus pave the way for a resolution at the following convention. p.'"^ This was published in March 1899. The Bundists were convinced that this was the proper social-democratic answer to the national problem. January 4. Mark Liber declared with justifiable pride: "We were the first to give an answer to the general national problem and to the Jewish problem in Russia in full consonance with the class standpoint of. . Vladimir Medem. 1901. no. The second socialist party active in Polish territory. p. should become a federation of nationalities with full national autonomy 9 Przeglqd socjaldemokratyczny. it crushes with its full weight the working class. Without national rights there is no full civic equality. In the social democratic literature are reflected concepts the owner classes and the educated.P. for each. no normal natural development of a people. National oppression is directed not especially against the worklem .K. or the dominance of one language over arjother is inconceivable. 1906.. Mark Liber and others motivated the national program of the Jewish Labor Bund from a socialist standpoint. which they opposed.L."® Medem has pointed out that "social democracy »dfialt less with the national problem than with any other important political problem. Socialism was considered as the fairest social order. the Jewi^ Labor Bund set out from the assimiption that a people with a history and a culture carries within itself the title to existence and to national rights. HERTZ THE BUND'S NATIONALITY PROGRAM 57 Labor Bund immediately after its founding. March 1902 (Zurich). 9 Forverts. which penetrate the camp of the proletariat owing to its weak theoretical defenses." The convention owned that under the current circumstances it was premature to present the demand for national autonomy for the Jews. Mardi 1899. 10 Vladimir Medem (New York 1943). were not in favor of national demands in the Diaspora lands. regardless of the territory it occupies." Russia.56 JACOB S. 1. . the oppression of one class by another. The Polish Socialist Party argued that the Jewish proletariat could have no other tasks than those in common with the proletariat of the country in which it resided. 173. These are part of the basic human rights. that like all nations the Jewish nation too has to have equal political. of one nationality by another."« The Jewish Labor Bund first'presented the demand for national-cultural autonomy for the Jews in 1904. where there live "various nationalities. vol. no.. In pressing the demand for national autonomy.. National rights smacked of national secularism.® Some Bundists arrived at the conviction« that the Jewish Labor Bund had to formulate and present a national' program in consonance with the specific conditions and needs of the Jews in the Russian empire. In an address on the Bundist national program. on the other hand. The Zionists. which occupies the lowest rung of the social lad! 8 Di geshikhte fun bund (New York 1960). This was the standpoint of the Foreign Committee of the organization. . . the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (S. economic and national rights.D.) had a friendly attitude toward the Jewish Labor Bund. they were content with the demand of religious freedom. the problem was discussed at length and a resolution adopted. I. how then could socialists tolerate national oppression or the denial of national rights to certain categories of nations? The Bundist spokesmen Vladimir Kosovsky. 180.. An editorial comment on Khayim Zhitlowsky's article in Der yidisher arbayter stated: "We are adamant in our view. 6. . T Der yidisher arbayter. For the time being it would fight for the annulment of the special laws against the Jews and "protest the oppression of the Jewish nation. The matter was placed on the agenda of the third convention in December 1899. At the fourth convention of the Jewish Labor Bupd on May 24-28. delivered in New York on December 17.io . Within the ranks. In the social democratic literature are reflected concepts and moods current in the bourgeois world. The problem of national rights and of a national program for minority people was new to the international socialist movement and to Marxian theory and subject to division of opinion. social democracy. . . containing among others the following points: "In the spirit of the Social Democratic program. of the citizenry by the state. It was also a novelty among the Jews. The concept 'nationality' should also apply to the Jewish people. of the Jewish Labor Bund there were some doubts on this question. 1907 (New York). The orthodox and the assimilationists were opposed to the presentation of Jewish national demands..

14 Iskra. p. . Petersburg committee of the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party.!® At that time (1901) the Rabochaia Mysl and Rabochee Delo expressed the views of the majority of Social Democrats. in his opinion. but not for Jews. branding it as nationalism. Boris Krichevsky. Hypercentralism must be victorious both in the nationalities policy and in the structure and spirit of the party. a trend that recognized the principle of national rights for minority nations. 1902. However. . will naturally fight more eneiçetically. and some of those who opposed it in the first years later changed their minds. 1902. . including the elite of the Russian social democracy. 13. organ of the St. The Rabochaia Mysl. 47-50. ^ Jewish Labor Bund united in solidarity with the Bundist formulations and resolutions on political and tactical matters. p. stressing the role of the workers and their economic struggle and the latter attempted to establish a balance between the econonlic and the political tasks of the social democratic labor movement. Aug. This group came out with a spirited attack on the Bundist resolution. no. pp. In opposition to these two was the group centered about the Iskra and Zaria. . no. 1902. It also supported the autonomy of the Bund in the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party. Dec. 1901. 12 Rabochaia Mysl. . Feb. 191. The RusIS Rabochee Delo. 15 Zaria. 7. 119. All workers regardless of religious affiliation should fight for this equality. . had recognized the Jewish Labor Bund as an autonomous organization in matters Jewish. The Association of Russian Social Democrats Abroad and its organ Rabochee Delo had a very positive attitude to the Jewish IL»abor Bund and held up its activity as a model for other organizations."!® The opposition of the Iskra group.. The opposition to the Jewish Labor Bund's stand on the national problem may be divided into three categories: a grouping with a so-called internationalist argumentation. the paper said: "Let each nation speak in its mother tongue. open its own schools and develop all its spiritual forces in the form that is most convenient for it. 1901. no. HERTZ THE BUND'S NATIONALITY PROGRAM 59 der and which feels on its back more powerfully the blows dealt to the entire nation. The attack on the Jewish Labor Bund was therefore in two directions: rejection of its national program and the reduction of its autonomy in the party to a minimum. was predicated upon two major motives: a nihilistic-assimilatory attitude to the Jewish problem and. in his article on the fourth convention of the 11 Op. which appeared surreptitiously in Russia. The former represented the economistic trend. they were merely a religious grouping and not a nationality. the greater sufferers. which was then in the minority and aspiring to attain the hegemony over the party. 11-12. Both issues were inherently connected.58 JACOB S. Reporting on the Jewish Labor Bund's resolution at its fourth convention. The latter. this problem was linked in this case with a side issue. not all in the Russian party were against the Bundist stand. secondly. warmly endorsed the demand for "full national equality" for all nations in Russia. . 4. The Iskra group launched a sharp fight for the control of the Social Democratic Party and the institution of a strictly centralistic and totalitarian leadership brooking no autonomist tendencies. not only the workers of the oppressed nations. perfect its literature and art. as stated above. nos. 23. but opposed national autonomy for the Jews for. Although the founding convention of the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party. Aug."" The Bund's position met with sharp opposition in the ranks of the socialist parties."" Zaria wrote: "Essentially the Jews have no national culture (not counting religion and in conjunction with it some customs). a grouping with its own national aspirations. Jan. the editor and one of the two representatives of the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party in the bureau of the Socialist International. part II. 14. cit. when the latter at its fourth convention formulated the need for national autonomy some Russian Social Democrats launched a sharp attack. Iskra wrote: "The fourth convention of the Jewish Labor Bund is the harbinger of the rise of nationalism in the Jewish social democracy of Western Russia and Poland. The Jews lost their national culture a long time ago and now they are suffering unbearably because the autocratic regime denies them access to Russian culture. no. He was even in accord with the resolution for national equality and against national oppression."i2 Entirely different was the attitude of the Russian social democratic organs published abroad.

. the Jewish Labor Bund reentered the party. an independent revolutionary force. no. A special commission of the All-Russian Convention of Work?. It insisted that the Jewish workers could . Thus the Jewish proletariat has its own task and immediate historical objectives. and the central organ of the Jewish Labor Bund saw in this acceptance an indication of the evolution of Russian democracy. Prior to the conference the social democratic party orgaidzations in Caucasia adopted a resolution calling for national-cultural autonomy. Part of the accepted resolution was for a broad political autonomy for the regions that were ethnically or socio-economically different and assures in the statutes the rights of the national minorities through the création of special local and federal representational organs. there was a point on the agenda: the nais Di arbayter shtime. upon being granted a number of conditions assming its integrity and autonomy. 25." The discussion of the national pro' gram of the Jewish Labor Bund was postponed to the next convention."^® The Bolsheviks continued in their opposition to national-cultural autonomy for minorities in general ànd for the Jews in particular. but like the proletariat of every nation an independent part of the world proletariat. when the Jewish workers deteçmined and stated what they wanted for them^àelves and for their people the Iskra group wàs categorically against them. 30. on May 13-June 1. The convention accepted the resolution. 6. were in favor of national-cultural autonomy. M. To realize these it must form a separate revolutionary organization. Oct. reis Weinreich. 1907.i® In the beginning of September 1917 the unification convention of the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party (Mensheyiks. 1917.. HERTZ THE BUND'S NATIONALITY PROGRAM 6L sian Social Democratic Workers Party did accept the principle of the right of self-determination of peoples. took an assimilatory stand. The representative of the Bolsheviks voiced his group's opposition to national-cultural autonomy for the minorities and declared their determination to vote against it. Do. The Stockholm convention of the party (1906) went on record that "the Jewish Labor Bund entered into the composition of the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party as a social democratic oit ganization of the Jewish proletariat.have no other demands than the Polish and denied their right to a special organization. The Vienna conference declared that national-cultural autonomy was not in contradiction to the party prc^am. 16. Lenin. The resolution adopted almost unanimously read in part: "The rights of the national minorities should be guaranteed by a state law based on the principle oí national-cultural autonomy. However. At thè i. Their spokesman. Similarly."i8 The other Polish socialist party. ers and Soldiers Councils meeting in June? 1917 prepared a resolutioni The Bundist leader Mark Liber presented and motivated the resolution in the name of the commission. 17 See n. In 1912 the Bolsheviks brought about an official split in the party. ..60 JACOB S. nos. . Thereafter the other parts of the party consolidated anew and called a conference in Vienna in August 1912. After the second Russian révolution all revolutionary parties. parties of national minorities and other social democratic groups. The Jewish proletariat ehcounters in its clajs struggle obstacles unknown to the proletariat of other nations."^'' In 1903 the Jewish Labor Bund withdrew from the Russian Social Democratiç Workers Party because of the above issues. In 1906. others the point was tabled for lack of previous preparatory discussion. except the Bolsheviks) took place. The chairman declared that in the interim the Jewish Labor Bund häd the right to maintain its program of nationalcultural autonomy. tional problem. it nevertheless regards it as an independent fraternal organization. which is not confined in its activity to regional frames.. the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania at its second convention in November 1901 adopted a resolution stating in part that: ". The party representatives clarified this to mean national-cultural autonomy. At the request of the Bundist delegation and. the Polish Socialist Party was unfriendly to the national program of the Jewish Labor Bund. in Di arbayter shtitne. 1917 (Petrograd). Although the cbnvention does not see the Jewish problem eye to eye with the Jewish Labor Bund.ext party convention in London. . These obstacles it must remove by itself. 1902. Sept. 1» Di arbayter shtime. July 12. except the Bolsheviks. 40-41. In reply the Bundist organ stated:» "The Jewish proletariat is not only 'part' of the Polish-Lithuanian one.

was founded in Galida in 1905.P. in a reply to the Bundist leaders Vladimir Medem and Libman Hersch. He said: Let us consider them as any other nation. 10-12. the left wing of the Polish Socialist Party did not accept the demand for national-cultural autonomy. The Galidan Sodai Democratic Party forthwith dedared its opposition to a Jewish labor organization. creating in its midst directly and indirectly a mood hostile to assimilation. which was categorically rejected. 1913 (St." Naye Folkstsaytung. 1930 (Warsaw). Apr. no. the relations between the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania and the Jewish Labor Bund deteriorated. the slogan of our enemies. Lenin wrote: "Jewish national culture is the siegan of the rabbis and the bourgeoisie. The Jews in Galida and Russia are not a nation. based on the same ideological foundations as the Jewish Labor Bund in Russia. Petersburg). an aid of the rabbis and the bourgeoisie. "25 yor. the Galidan party changed to the Polish Social Democratic Party of Galida and Silesia (P. an adherent of the old remains in the Judaic caste. Herman Diamand. Among those actively fighting against autonomy for Jewish workers and opposing the new party were a number of Jews. Der bundhm in galitsyen (Cracow 1907). SO. part I. Ignacy Daszynski. Selected Works (Moscow 1927). In a polemic with the Jewish Labor Bund. 1903.e.-Dec. Simultaneously. at a conference of delegates of Jewish workers assodations.). May 15. Lenin. V. with one important ideological concession. Polish patriotic and nationalist sentiment gained the ascendancy in the party and it began to view with favor Jewish assimilation. . Öct. One of their prindpal spokesmen.. rejected the theory of assimilation of the Jews. because of ideolc^cal and practical organizational considerations. However."^ A change took place among the Polish socialists. noted writer and theoretician of the Polish Socialist Party. vol. VIII. In 1905 a number of local Polish Socialist Party and Jewish Labor Bund organizations arrived at a coexistence. but also among those who attempt to couple it with ideas of social democracy (the Bundists).. Prosveshchenie. Whoever sets forth directly or indirectly the slogan of Jewish 'national culture' (his best intentions notwithstanding) is an enemy of the proletariat.P. he wrote: "The idea of Jewish 'nationality' bears a pronounced reactionary character not only among its consistent adherents (the Zionists). . . a 'ghetto' mood. 22. Simultaneously. * Similarly. several organizations of Jewish workers of an educational and trade union character. let us give them the same rights. i. nos. The former fought against most of the demands of the Jewish population and even opposed the Jewish workers at a time when Polish workers refused their admittance into the large factories.S. the Jewish socialist labor movement in Galida had to fight for the right to an autonomous organization and nationalcultural autonomy.D.62 JACOB S. The Jewish sodalist labor movement in Galida began in the 1890's.. . HERTZ THE BUND'S NATIONALITY PROGRAM 63 fusing to recognize the Jews as a nationality and sharply opposing the movement for Jewish national culture. Dr.D. in consonance with the reorganization of the Austriiui party on federative bases. In the ranks of the Jewish members of the P. came out in support of the Bundist position and in favor of Jewish national-cultural autonomy. 20 Iskra. but a caste. there began a demand for autonomy within the framework of the party. After several years' struggle the Jewish Sodai Democratic Party. the Polish Sodai Democratic Party founded under its aegis 21 Naprzód. 1892 (Cracow). In 1903-1904 Kazimierz Kelles-Kraus. motivated his opposition to autonomy thus: "There are no spedai Jewish traits worth conserving. Grosman. linked to the party from before. is in conflict with the interest of the Jewish proletariat. dted from H. We must bend every effort to eliminate all manifestations of uniqueness. . All retention of Jewish uniqueness is deleterious. it supported a number of Jewish demands that were in the spirit and character of that autonomy. Oct."^2 Intensifying its fight against the Jewish Sodai Democratic Party. We have to assume new forms and not flinch at the difiSculties encountered in Polish sodety. . N.^^ In 1897. 22 Shulman. Officially. The idea . After the split in the Polish Socialist Party there was a rapprochement between the left wing of the party and the Jewish Labor Bund.S. . both with the Polish Social Democratic Party and with the general Social Democratic Party of Austria. had already been established. At the first party convention in 1892 its leader... However. 51. Occasionally even an isolated voice in favor of the Bundist national program was heard." Ten years later.

the "historicality" of a nation. Austrjian socialist theoretician. in his work Die Nationalitätenfrage und die Sozialdemokratie. In the Middle^Ages. pointing to his attitude toward the Jews. . 28 Bauer. Curiously. independent of territory. Lenin sarcastically and correctly criticized Bauer's inconsistency and vacillation. 438.''^» However. Not only did Bauer ignore the expressed will of the awakened Jewish masses. with respect to the Jews the Austrian party assumed an assimilatory standpoint." And Bauer called upon the Jewish workers in general to adjust in manners and culture to the "Christian" workers. Yet in dealing 24 Bauer. I lie • f: . but to enroll their children in German." Di geshikhte fun bund (New York 1966). But the Pohsh Social Democratic Party fought the Jewish socialist organization under pretext that only territorial minorities were entitled to national autonomy. He appealed to Jewish workers to refrain from the demand for Jewish schools. op. pp. Otto. "Di yidishe sotsyal-demokratishe bav^ung in galitsye un bukovine. At the Jewish socialist unification convention in 1911 Daszynski said: "You have a separate autonomous party^ you can decide as you please. He raised the question whether "the needs of the Jewish workers call for national self-administration. form today the Jewish nation. Jewish socialists demanded national rights in the name of humane life needs. Die Nationalitätenfrage und die Sozialdemokratie (Vienna 1907). but he had no faith in this development."^« By this definition the Jews are certainly a nationality. they have the character of an ahistorical nation. Now Otto Bauer." to which he gave a negative answer." Otto Bauer here gave the meaning of "historical" and "ahistorical" a slight twist. HERTZ THE BUND'S NATIONALITY PROGRAM 65 a Jewish section named The Jewishi Social Democracy in Galicia. Similarly. . cit. 95-120." Although he added that "in Eastern Europe there still are . He was alarmed at the thought of Jewish children in their own schools with Yiddish as the language of instruction! What spirit will prevail in these schools? "The children of the Jewish workers will be imbued with the spirit of bygone days. cit. regarded with disdain the Yiddish language and denied the principle of national rights for Jews ^nd the rights of Jewish workers to an autonomous organization within the framework of the federative party. norities. attempted to ground the denial of Jewish autonomy on different bases. millions of unassimilated Jews belonging mostly to the lowest strata. 25 Lenin. permitting their Jewish members to join the Jewish Social Democratic Party. p. Ill.''^® Thus a breach was made in the socialist principle of the right of self-determination of nations. 318-331. he also denied their needs. the Jewish party did not obtain the recognition of the general Aiiçtrian Social Democratic Party.. vol. And here capitalist development brought about an alienation of the Jewish intellectuals and the wealthy from Jewish life thus rendering the once historical into an ahistorical nation whose language and culture are in a state of utter neglect. Polish or Ukrainian schools. Bauer admitted the rise of the national cultural renascence in which the Jewish workers played a great role. he said. Bauer and others opposed this demand in the name of hypothetical development tendencies." he feared. He said explicitly: "Thç historical in us is the national in us. "with a medieval view of the world. Soon the leaders of the Polish party became convinced that their fight against the Jewish party was hopeless and in 1911 they gave it up altogether. . It is not past performance that determines 23 Kissman. Although established on national federative bases.^* In an article against national-cultural autonomy. pp. Pçlish and the Jewish. The Polish party was far from recognizing the attitude of the Jewish Social Democratic Party.. op. He said: "To the extent that the Jews in Europe are still a nation. The denial of national rights to Jews meant in effect a curtailment of their civil rights.. "The Jqws had undoubtedly been a nation. The convention of the Austrian Social Democratic Party in Brno in 1899 accepted the principle of national autonomy for mi. He called upon them to abandon their national-cultural characteristics. p. Bauer defined nation as a cormnunity of character derived from a community of fate.* f u 64 JACOB S. and the life habits of the Jewish tavern keeper. He minimized the need for the use of Yiddish in public offices and courts. but'the prospects for the future. J. This Jewish petty citizenry and workers . He said that Bauer had "excluded from the plan of extraterritorial autonomy of nations the sole extraterritorial nation. . there was no true peace between the two parties— the." but in the capitalist society they ceased to be a nation and are becoming integrated in the nations in whose midst they live. 133.

the leader of the Russian Socialist-Revolutionaries. They argued the necessity of going into the villages for among the Jewish masses there was no receptivity for revolutionary propaganda. HERTZ THE BUND'S NATIONALITY PROGRAM 67 with the Jewish problem he applied not his own definition but other standards in order to deny them recognition as a nationality. Gregory Gershuni. antagonistic attitude of the Russian social democracy to the Bundist stand on the national problem he saw "the assimilationist tendencies in Jewry itself " He said: "The argument between the Jewish Labor Bund and the Russian party is in a considerable measure an expression of the internal struggle among the various' trends in Jewry. Therefore I have gone over to the Christians to teach them how to fight for their freedom. "they know how to shed their blood for freedom. the same problem exists today. 3. 1906 (Vilna)." he argued.''^^ Let us recall an earlier generation of Russian Jewish revolutionaries. At the second convention of the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party in 1903. 28 Nashe Slovo. 15. 23. Medem pointed this out as early as 1906."28 The same applied to the Polish and Austrian socialist parties. And so long as it will not be liquidated one way or another our difference with the party cannot be conclusively settled. "The Jews are ready for the revolution. Martov-Zeder27 Forverts. addressed a gathering of several thousand Jews in New York in Yiddish. vol.66 JACOB S. 11. This I don't have to teach them. p. Di geshikhte . The resolution bore the si^ature of 12 delegates—all Jews. at which the conflict over the rights to an autonomous Jewish organization reached its climax. ¡ Conceivably. ^ baum presented the resolution opposing this right. . 2» Aronson. Dec.^» Medem was right. another—an assimilationist—appears under the sign of the Russian Sodal Democratic Workers Party. 18. The latter served to justify the hesitation of many socialists. . . Mark Liber branded "Trotslcy's remark as vulgar tactlessness.. Leon Trotsky deemed it necessary to call attention to the fact that Jews introduced the resolution opposing a national organization of Jewish workers within the framework of the general Social Democratic Party. One of these trends is represented by the Jewish Labor Bund. G. In other forms. This is an infamai Jewish affair. 1906. It was primarily an internal Jewish affair. "Di natsyonale un organizatsyonele frage. no. It was a continuation of the conflict in various forms and guises throughout Jewish history between the strivings for survival and the tendencies to dissolution. • In December 1906. July 6." fun bund (New York 1962). 510. Among the reasons for the. He said that the task of the Russian Jewish revolutionaries was to work among the Russian peasants in the villages. one part of the non-Jewish socialist leaders would not have opposed the national demands of the Jewish working class and the other would not have opposed them so vigorously had they not had the support of some Jewish socialists.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful