Larin, Yuri

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LARIN, YURI (Lurye, Mikhail Alexandrovich ; 1882–1932), Russian political economist and communal leader. Born in Simferopol, Larin was the son of the Hebrew writer and Zionist Shneur Zalman Luria, who served as *kazyonny ravvin in Kiev. In 1901 he joined the Russian Social Democratic Party, becoming an adherent of its Menshevik wing. Arrested and exiled to Siberia in 1902, he escaped abroad in 1904, returning to Russia in 1905. From 1905 to 1913 he was active in the revolutionary movement in the Crimea, the Ukraine, and the Caucasus. In 1913 when in Tiflis (Tbilisi) he was again arrested and expelled. He returned to Russia after the February Revolution. After July 1917 he became a member of the Bolshevik Party. Following the October Revolution he was given a number of top assignments as an expert in economic affairs. He was a key figure in the organization of the new Soviet economy and among the founders of the State Planning Bureau. In 1928 he became identified with the opposition. He organized the fight against antisemitism in 1926–31 and wrote some works on the subject. He took great interest in the agricultural settlement of Russian Jews and was chairman of ozet, a voluntary, semiprivate organization propagating the idea of agricultural settlement of Russian Jews. He was also a member of komzet, a public committee whose task was similar to that of ozet. Larin was one of the few Jewish communists who supported the project of settling Jews in the *Crimea, and one of the two Jewish Autonomous Counties there was named after him – Larindorf County – in 1935. Moreover, when there was still Zionist activity in the Soviet Union, he attempted, unsuccessfully, to bring about an agreement between the Soviet authorities and Zionist groups, to attract the latter to settlement activities, and to mobilize funds from the Jews in Russia and other countries. On the other hand, he opposed the project of Jewish settlement in *Birobidzhan, and even expressed publicly his doubts as to its success. This stand roused the anger of the *Yevsektsiya, and Larin was attacked by Merezhin, one of the Yevsektsiya's leaders. His daughter Anna married N. Bukharin.


Bolshaya Sovetskaya Entsiklopediya, 35 (1937), 762–3.