Ann: network devoted to the Jewish Labor Bund

A network devoted to research on the Jewish Labor Bund


The history of the General Jewish Labor Bund, once the avantgarde of the Jewish workers' movement, can be understood as an integral part of East European history and labour history, but also as the history of a transnational movement. Just as Bundists have dispersed around the world in the last 60 years, so too has research on the Bund and subsequently, the proliferation of research institutes, archives and libraries engaged with the history of the movement. The last major international meeting of researchers on the Bund took place in 1997 in Poland. The exchange of ideas initiated by the conference participants cannot be considered closed. On the contrary, after a number of quieter years in the field, a new wave of research seems to have emerged, driven by researchers of various interests, generations and origins. Especially significant is the growing number of ongoing or planned dissertations, which suggests that the imbalance between the Bund's historical relevance and its scientific exploration serves as an impetus for young researchers. There is currently no forum or space for intellectual exchange between researchers, and in many cases, scholars in the field remain isolated. In light of this, it seemed the right time for the initiators of bundism.net to set up a new, transnational network based on modern communication technologies.

bundism.net seeks to connect scholars throughout the world who are interested in exploring the history and ideas of the Jewish Labor Bund. We wish to create an interdisciplinary forum and provide resources that will enrich the research of those involved. We are committed to supporting a multiplicity of approaches and backgrounds. We welcome research on any period or aspect of Bund history and theory. bundism.net is committed to a plurality of approaches and welcomes any scholar who is interested in enriching the canon of Bund historiography. We also want to start a discussion about problems and trends in Jewish and cultural history. bundism.net will also contain resources, links and information to assist anyone interested in the study of the Bund. Ultimately, we wish to create a transnational community where people can share their resources, wisdom and insight in order to enliven and enrich research into an important chapter in modern Jewish history.

In order to achieve these aims, bundism.net offers the following:
  • Information about ongoing projects
  • Direct contact to researchers worldwide
  • Information, including contact details, about relevant institutions (such as archives and libraries)
  • A mailing-list that serves as both a distribution list for specific information and a discussion group - An extensive up-to-date bibliography
  • An extensive list of web links and online resources
  • A collection of information relevant to the field
Membership is free of charge and we warmly welcome anyone interested in the subject. More information and application forms can be requested by e-mailing: [mailto]blitspost@bundism.net[/mailto]

We look forward to welcoming you into the group,
Rebekka Denz (Braunschweig, Berlin), David Slucki (Melbourne), Frank Wolff (Köln, Bielefeld).


General Jewish Labor Bund (Algemeyner yidisher arbeterbund)

The Jewish Labour Bund was established in the Russian empire in 1897. Throughout its first half-century, the Bund was a leading political, social and cultural force in the Eastern European Jewish world. Bundists were active in Russian socialist circles, and the party was an important participant in the 1905 revolution. After its liquidation by the Bolsheviks in the Soviet Union after the 1917 Russian Revolution, the Bund's centre shifted to Poland, where it built up a large following with its extensive network of social and cultural organizations. By the eve of the war, the Bund was one of the most popular organizations on the Jewish street. During the Holocaust period the Bund was active in the underground and as partisans in ghettoes and camps throughout Nazi-occupied Europe, and also sought to publicize the atrocities to the western world. The Holocaust crippled the Polish Bund though, as its members and its natural constituency, Polish Jewry, were virtually annihilated by the Nazis. The communist government of Poland oversaw the final liquidation of the Polish Bund in 1948. Although the Bund would never again reach the lofty heights it had in Eastern Europe, it still played a constructive role in post-Holocaust Jewish communities around the world, and with the founding of the World Coordinating Committee of Bund Organizations in 1947, it established itself first the first time as a global, transnational movement. Despite the Bund's significance in modern Jewish history, research on the movement remains sparse and the subject of much debate.