ABRAMOWITZ (Rein), RAPHAEL


ABRAMOWITZ (Rein), RAPHAEL
ABRAMOWITZ (Rein), RAPHAEL (1880–1963), socialist leader and writer. He was born in Dvinsk, Latvia, and from 1899 took part in the activities of the illegal student movement in Riga, where he joined the bund in 1901. An outstanding speaker, prolific writer, and energetic organizer, he was speedily recognized as one of the chief spokesmen of the second generation of Bund leaders. In 1903–04, he was active in the "colonies" of the Russian students in Liège and Zurich. In 1905 he was elected a member of the central committee of the Bund and in 1906 became a member of the central committee of the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party. During the Russian Revolution of 1905, Abramowitz was the Bund candidate for the second Russian duma . He was arrested several times for his socialist activities and exiled to Siberia in 1910 but in 1911 succeeded in escaping abroad. Abramowitz returned to Russia in 1917, and played a leading role as a Menshevik representative, notably in the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Soviet. After the October Revolution, he and julius martov were included in the Menshevik faction which for a while believed that gradual democratization of the Bolshevik regime was possible. He opposed a contemplated merger of the Bund with the Communist Party and was among the founders of a separate "Social-Democratic Bund" (April 1920). At the end of 1920 Abramowitz went to Berlin, where the following year he and Martov founded the Menshevist organ Sotsialistitcheskiy Vestnik, which he continued to edit until shortly before his death. Between 1923 and 1929 he was a leading member of the executive of the Socialist International. Abramowitz moved to Paris in 1939 and in 1940 succeeded in reaching New York. Abramowitz was a contributor to the Yiddish Socialist Jewish Daily Forward and the monthly Zukunft, and a founder and editor of the Yiddish Algemayne Entsiklopedye (1934–50), and of The Jewish People, Past and Present (1946–55). He edited the laborite Modern Review (New York, 1947–50). His books include Lerbukh tsu der Geshikhte fun Yisroel (in collaboration with A. Menes, 1923); Der Teror gegen di Sotsialisten in Rusland un in Gruzye (in collaboration with Tsereteli and Sukhomolin, Yiddish, 1925; translated into French, German, and Dutch); two volumes of memoirs, In Tsvay Revolutsyes (1944) and The Soviet Revolution, 1917–1939 (1962). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: LNYL, 1 (1956), 12–16; Sotsialistitcheskiy Vestnik, 43 (1963), nos. 3–4, 26–28. (Leon Shapiro)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.


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