Mill, Joseph Solomon

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MILL, JOSEPH SOLOMON (John ; 1870–1952), pioneer of the *Bund. Born in Panevezys, Lithuania, Mill was left on his own when his family immigrated to the United States. From an early age he established close relations with Polish families, acquainting himself with the complex nationality problems of the region. He joined revolutionary circles under the influence of Z. *Kopelson. From 1890 he was a most active member of the Jewish Social Democratic organization in Vilna, except for intervals of imprisonment (1892), military service, and studies at the University of Zurich. He established ties with the leaders of the Polish Social Democrats, Rosa *Luxemburg, and L. *Jogiches, who led the Social Democratic "circles" in Vilna at the end of the 1880s. In 1895 Mill went to Warsaw as the head of a group interested in laying a foundation for a Jewish workers' society that later became a branch of the Bund there. He fought the Polish Socialist Party and its group of Jewish members and succeeded in uniting Lithuanian and local workers into one Jewish association. After the arrest of Bund members in 1898, Mill fled the country, and together with Kopelson initiated the establishment of the Bund "committee abroad." He was the editor of its organ Der Yidisher Arbeter (nos. 6–11) and initiated the setting up of the Bund archives. At the third congress of the Bund (1899) Mill was the first to demand that the claim to national autonomy be included in its program. For many years he headed the organizational affairs of the Bund and its "committee abroad" until he imigrated to Chicago in 1915. In the United States he worked at his profession of dental technician, and was active in the *Jewish Socialist Verband and the Socialist Party, holding the position of Jewish secretary and translator. He wrote for Jewish socialist periodicals and published important memoirs entitled Pionern un Boyer (2 vols., 1943–46).


lnyl, 5 (1963), 624–6, incl. bibl.; J.S. Hertz et al. (eds.), Geshikhte fun Bund, 3 vols. (1960–66), indexes; M. Mishkinsky, in: Asufot, 14 (1970), 81–131.

[Moshe Mishkinsky]