Brutzkus, Julius

views updated


BRUTZKUS, JULIUS (1870–1951), communal worker, brother of Boris *Brutzkus. He was born in Palanga, Lithuania, and studied medicine at the University of Moscow during the 1880s. Brutzkus was a member of the Benei Zion (see *Ḥibbat Zion) group and worked for an improvement in the conditions of the Jews who had been expelled from Moscow in 1891. He settled in St. Petersburg where he participated in the activities of the "Society for the Propagation of Culture Among Russian Jews" and became a member of the editorial board of the Russian-Jewish monthly *Voskhod. He also took a part in the activities of the ica (*Jewish Colonization Association) among the Jews of Russia. In 1902 he resigned from Voskhod because of its anti-Zionist attitude. In 1905 he became a member of the editorial boards of the Zionist periodicals Yevreyskayazhizn ("Jewish Life") and the reestablished *Razsvet ("Dawn"). During the revolution of 1905 he played a role in the Committee for the Protection of Emancipation of Russian Jews. In 1909 he was elected to the enlarged Zionist organization executive and to the council of the *Jewish Colonial Trust. Brutzkus favored "practical work" in Palestine. In 1917 he was elected to the all-Russian Constituent Assembly as the representative of the "Jewish List" of the Minsk district. In 1921 Brutzkus became the minister for Jewish affairs in the Lithuanian government. In 1922 he was elected to the Lithuanian parliament. After the restriction of Jewish autonomy in Lithuania, he settled in Berlin where he worked with *yivo, became a vice president of *ose, and was one of the founders of the Zionist Revisionist Party. When the Nazis rose to power in Germany, he immigrated to France. Arrested by the Vichy government, he succeeded in escaping and immigrating to America, and finally to Palestine. As a historian, Brutzkus' activity was principally concerned with the history of the Jews in Russia and Lithuania and the Khazars. His works were published in Russian, Yiddish, and German. His writings include Ukazatel o russkoy literatury o yevreyakh ("Bibliographical Guide to Russian Literature on the Jews") in collaboration with L. Bramson (1892); "Documents and Records on the History of the Jews in Russia" (Rus., 1899–1900); K istorii yevreyev v Kurlyandiyi ("History of the Jews in Courland"; in Voskhod, 1895); "History of the Mountain Jews of Caucasus" (in yivoa, 1938); and Pismo khazarskogo yevreya ot X veka ("Letter from a Khazar Jew of the Tenth Century"; in a special pamphlet in Russian, 1924, and in English, 1935).

[Abba Ahimeir]