Berman, Jakub

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BERMAN, JAKUB (1901–1984), Polish Communist leader. Born in Warsaw, a brother of Adolf *Berman, Jacob graduated in law and then undertook research into the economic and social history of Poland. Some of his articles on these subjects dealt with Jewish problems, and in 1926 he published a dissertation on the tasks of the historical section of the Jewish Scientific Institute (yivo). From 1928 to 1939 he worked for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Berman joined the Polish Communist Party in 1928, becoming one of its most active workers. During World War ii he took refuge in the Soviet Union, and in 1943 helped to organize the Soviet-sponsored Union of Polish Patriots. He was a member of the political staff of the Polish Army in the U.S.S.R. and of the Polish National Liberation Committee. After the war he returned to Poland and was undersecretary of state in the presidium of the Council of Ministers from 1945 to 1952. From 1952 to 1956 he was a deputy premier. In these years Berman was a leading figure in the Political Bureau and a close colleague of the Polish president, Boleslaw Bierut. In 1956, when Wladislaw Gomulka came to power, Berman was accused of Stalinism and removed from all his government and party posts. From 1958 to 1968 he worked as editor in a publishing house but in 1968, during the antisemitic campaign, he was forced to retire.

add. bibliography:

C. Kozlowski, Zarys Dziejow Polskiego Ruchu Robotniczego do roku 1948 (1980), index; D. Stola, Kampanja antysjonistyczna (2000), index; J. Eisler, Marzec 1968 (1991), index; K. Nusbaum, Ve-hafakh lahem le-Ro'eẓ, Ha-Yehudim be-Ẓava ha-Amami ha-Polani bi-Berit ha-Mo'eẓot (1984), index.

[Abraham Wein]