Sosis, Israel

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SOSIS, ISRAEL (1878–after 1936), Russian historian. Sosis, born in Balta, southern Russia, joined the *Bund, and took part in the Russian Revolution of 1905. He contributed to the party's publications and was imprisoned several times for revolutionary activities. During World War i Sosis was active in *yekopo. He published articles on the history of social classes in Russian Jewry in Yevreyskaya Starina (1914–16). With the left wing of the Bund, he joined the Communist Party after the 1917 Revolution. From 1924 he lectured on Jewish history at the Institute for White-Russian Culture in Minsk, and published articles on the history of Lithuanian and White-Russian Jews in Russian-Jewish periodicals. Sosis' main work, "The History of Jewish Social Trends in Russia in the 19th Century" (1919), though Marxist in outlook and method, did not slavishly follow the official Soviet historiographical line, and showed some objectivity and national Jewish feeling. The "deviations" led to his transfer, in 1930, to the Institute for Jewish-Proletarian Culture in Kiev. When the institute was closed in 1936, Sosis was arrested and his fate remains unknown.


Rejzen, Leksikon, 2 (1927), 602–4; B. Shohetman, in: ks, 8 (1931/32), 343–6; Greenbaum, Jewish Scholarship in Soviet Russia (1959); lnyl, 6 (1965), 303–5.

[Yehuda Slutsky]