Barou, Noah

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BAROU, NOAH (1889–1955), economist. Born in Poltava, Russia, Barou became involved in revolutionary activities as a student and was exiled. After studying in Germany, he returned to Russia in 1913 and was general secretary of the central committee of the illegal left-wing Zionist organization, *Po'alei Zion. After the 1917 Revolution he was one of the three secretaries of the Ukrainian Trade Union Congress. In 1922 he left Russia and eventually settled in England, where he served from 1923 to 1936 as general secretary of the Po'alei Zion World Federation. He was one of the founders of the *World Jewish Congress and an active member of the *Board of Deputies of British Jews. In the early 1950s, Barou made the first contacts with representatives of the West German Federal Republic that led to the meeting of Nahum *Goldmann, president of the Jewish Material Claims Conference, with Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. This meeting laid the foundations for the *reparations eventually made to Jews for material losses at the hands of the Nazis. An authority on cooperative finance, Barou published numerous monographs in English. They include Cooperative Banking (1932), Cooperation in the Soviet Union (1946), and British Trade Unions (1947). He edited The Cooperative Movement in Labour Britain (1948).


H.F. Infield (ed.), Essays… in Memory of Dr. Noah Barou 18891955 (1962), includes bibliography.

[Cecil Roth]