Landau, Adolph

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LANDAU, ADOLPH (1842–1902), Russian journalist, editor, and publisher, and pioneer of the rising Russian-Jewish intelligentsia. Born in Raseiniai (Rossiyeny), Lithuania, Landau was educated in the state rabbinical seminary in Vilna and at the faculty of law at the University of St. Petersburg. After contributing to the Russian liberal press of the 1860s, he wrote "Letters from St. Petersburg" in the Russian-language Jewish newspaper Den of Odessa. In 1871 he began to publish a literary-historical anthology titled Yevreyskaya Biblioteka ("Jewish Library"). By the end of the 1870s eight volumes had appeared, with the participation of many Jewish writers and researchers, notably I. *Orshanski, L. *Levanda, and G. *Bogrov. In 1881 the government authorized Landau to issue the collection as a literary and scientific monthly, exempt from the earlier censorship, and he changed its name to *Voskhod. After the 1881 pogroms, Landau added a weekly supplement in which he conducted a fierce polemic against the Jew-haters; other objects of his attack were the Ḥovevei Zion (*Ḥibbat Zion) and later the Zionists. Rallying the Russian Jewish intelligentsia and its writers around his newspapers, Landau did not shrink from stringent criticism of the government's anti-Jewish policy. He was warned about this several times and his paper was closed down for six months (1891). Voskhod, the only Jewish paper in the Russian language during the years 1885–99, served as an instrument for the creation of Jewish literature in Russian and for the study of the history of the Jews in Russia. In his outlook Landau was a moderate assimilationist who was in favor of the Jews of Russia acquiring Russian culture, but he opposed complete assimilation and the rejection of the national-religious values of Judaism. Through his publication of translations of many basic works on the history of the Jewish people and its literature, he nurtured a generation of readers who became aware of their heritage. In 1899 Landau sold Voskhod to a group of writers and communal workers with nationalist views (there were even Zionists among them). He continued the collection Yevreyskaya Biblioteka with volumes 9 (1902) and 10 (which appeared posthumously in 1903). His son was Gregory *Landau.


S. Ginzburg, Amolike Peterburg (1944), 170–83; Y. Slutzky, Ha-Ittonut ha-Yehudit-Rusit ba-Me'ah ha-19 (1970); G. L[andau], in: Yevreyskaya Biblioteka, 9 (1902).

[Yehuda Slutsky]