Kremer, Arkadi

views updated


KREMER, ARKADI (Aaron , "Alexander "; 1865–1935), central figure in the Jewish labor movement in Russia in the 1890s, described as "the father of the *Bund." The son of an enlightened Hebrew teacher in Svencionys (Sventsyany) in the province of Vilna, Kremer received little traditional Jewish education. His persuasive and unifying influence as a propagandist and an organizer made him the moving spirit in the Jewish Social Democratic Group in Vilna between 1891 and 1897. His pamphlet Ob agitatsü ("On Agitation," 1893/94) influenced the transition of the labor movement in Vilna, and many other cities in Russia, from closed circles of socialist propaganda to action among the masses adapted to their actual economic requirements. Kremer was among the founders of the Bund in the fall of 1897, and of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party in 1898, and a member of their central committees. After a term in prison for revolutionary activities he escaped abroad in 1900. There, and from 1905 again in Russia, he continued his activities in the Bund. In 1908 he abandoned political life, studied and worked from 1912 to 1921 as an electrical engineer in France. He later returned to Vilna and taught there. In 1928 he resumed his activities in the local branch of the Bund, but was a moral and political authority of the Bund in Poland. His wife, "pati" kremer (Matla Srednicki; 1867–1943), a dentist, was also a Bundist, and one of the few leaders of the Jewish Social Democrats in Vilna in the 1890s capable of writing Yiddish. She died in the Vilna ghetto.


Arkadi: Zamlbukh tsum Ondenk… (1942); Pinson, in: jsos, 7 (1945), 233–64; Rejzen, Leksikon, 3 (1929), 779–85; V. Medem, Fun Mayn Lebn, 2 (1923), 11–14.

[Moshe Mishkinsky]