Gozhansky, Samuel

views updated


GOZHANSKY, SAMUEL (pseudonyms: Ha-Moreh, "Lanu," 1867–1943) Bundist, born in Novovola, Belorussia. The son of a wagoner, Gozhansky graduated from the Teachers' Seminary in Vilna in 1888. He became a socialist and from 1891 to 1895 led the Jewish Social Democrats in Vilna, the pioneers of the *Bund. As almost their only writer in Yiddish, Gozhansky composed most of the explanatory pamphlets directed to the workers. The most important, the "Letter to Agitators" (1893–94; preserved in typescript in Russian, retranslated into Yiddish, 1939, and into Hebrew, 1967), primarily sets out the fundamentals of the ideology of the Jewish workers' movement. According to this, Jewish workers would obtain their social and political rights if they constituted "a recognizable force" of their own which would conduct "the national political struggle" for obtaining civil rights for all the Jews. The Jewish workers would join up with the general workers' movement as an independent body. Gozhansky was arrested for revolutionary activity in Bialystok in 1896 and exiled to Siberia. He returned in 1902. Subsequently he was active in the Bund in Warsaw, Vilna, and other places, standing as Bundist candidate in the elections for the second Duma, and contributing to the Bundist paper Folkstseitung during this period he was imprisoned several times. He was a member of the foreign committee of the Bund and as its delegate served as secretary of the Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party in London in 1907. He wrote the pamphlets Zionism and The Jewish Proletariat. During World War i Gozhansky lived in Tula. After the 1917 Revolution he edited the Bund organ Dos Profesionele Lebn in Petrograd (Leningrad). He joined the Communist Party in 1919 but was not active in the *Yevsektsiya (Jewish section).


Revolyutsionnoye dvizheniye sredi yevreyev (1930), index; lnyl, 3 (1958), 7–8; M. Mishkinsky, in: Zion, 31 (1966), 89–101.

[Moshe Mishkinsky]