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Labor Action, 28 February 1949


The Bund


From Labor Action, Vol. 13 No. 9, 28 February 1949, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The following items are reprinted with permission from the Jewish Labor Bund Bulletin (February 1949). They speak for themselves and require no comment. We would however suggest Stalinist be read for “Communist” in the text.


Liquidation Forced by Polish Regime

The Communist minority now ruling Poland with the blessing of Moscow has finally succeeded in putting an end to the existence of an independent BUND movement in that country. After the unity parade held in Warsaw on December 15, 1948, when the last remaining shreds of an independent Socialist movement were eradicated, the fate of the BUND was all but sealed. A month later, on January 16, 1949, a liquidation congress of the Polish BUND took place. The participants dissolved the independent BUND movement and called upon it former members to join the “Unity Party” – actually the Communist Party in Poland.

Following is the statement regarding this tragic event, adopted by the BUND World Coordinating Committee.

Broken by Terror and Violence

The liquidation of the Polish Socialist movement, which also caused the Polish BUND to be dissolved, was brought about against the true wishes of the Polish working class after the Communist rulers broke its resistance by shameful methods of physical violence, terror and corruption.

Now the ignoble period, marked by various “adaptation” measures and continuous ideological concessions on the part of the Socialist movement of Poland by means of which that movement had hoped to wrangle from the Communist rulers a chance to exist, came to a close. Simultaneously was stifled the attempt of the comparatively few Jewish workingmen who remained alive to continue, after World War II, upon the ruins of the once throbbing Jewish community in Poland the struggle of the Jewish Labor BUND under its own banner – the banner which had once inspired the Jewish working masses to the fight against tsarism, against Polish reaction, and, in the years of the recent war, against the Nazi cannibals.

To the long chain of Communist crimes a new link has now been added – the forced liquidation of the Polish BUND. The BUND in Poland – flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood – became a victim of the Communist crusade against the last vestiges of an independent Socialist movement.

With regard to this political and moral act of murder committed by the forces controlling the life of contemporary Poland – the very same forces which seven years previously, in December 1941, murdered in the Soviet Union the leaders of the Polish BUND, Henryk Erlich and Victor Alter – the BUND World Coordinating Committee feels obliged to state:

The liquidation of the BUND in Poland finally puts an end to all hopes of a significant Jewish community again developing there. The eradication of free civic organizations in Poland makes impossible the very existence of culturally productive Jewish activities.

Will Fight Oppressors

The guilt for repudiating the basic principles of the Bundist ideology and the shame for denying the glorious history of the old BUND in pre-revolutionary and pre-war Poland does not rest with the BUND membership; for the membership kept faith with its old ideals. The guilt rests with the individuals who brought about the party’s dissolution; but the real culprit is the Communist movement, which has developed into an apparatus of oppression catering only to the principles of brute force, of blackmail, and of terror.

The BUND World Coordinating Committee proudly notes that a large majority of BUND and TSUKUNFT (Bundist youth organization) members in today’s Poland refused to betray the party’s principles and the party banner – which had been a rallying point for hundreds of Jewish workingmen for half a century. As does the vast majority of the Polish laboring class, these Bundists carry in their hearts a burning hatred against their Communist oppressors.

* * *

Plight of the Jews in Rumania

Rumania now has the largest Jewish community in post-war, not counting the Soviet Union – a group totaling half a million Jews. The Jewish settlement there dates back many years and is intimately tied to the country’s history and traditions. Some of the Jewish communities in Rumania – as, for example, those in Cernauti and Iasi – are prominent in the annals of Jewish history. Most of Rumania’s Jews speak Yiddish, are proud of their Jewish origin and of their Yiddish schools, and are deeply aware of their ties with creative Jewish elements all over the world.

The further national and cultural development of Rumania’s Jews, however, appears to have become exceedingly difficult with the recent adoption of a resolution on national minorities by the highest authorities of the Rumanian Communist Party. A few excerpts from the document pertaining to Jewish problems follow:

“Bourgeois nationalists have tried to create a JEWISH UNITY. According to their gospel, there are no divisions among Jews. This view is nothing but a diversion and a ruse to win over the Jewish working population to serve the vested interests of the Jewish bourgeois, who is a servant of British- American imperialism.”

Everybody in Rumania knows only too well what it means to be ear-marked as an agent of British American imperialism. It is easy to imagine the consequences for the majority of the Rumanian Jews, who are known for their anti-Communist sentiments.

After the statement about the rights, of the national minorities in Rumania (excluding the Jews) was issued, the Politbureau of the Communist Party initiated a spirited campaign against so-called “Jewish nationalism.” Even some Jewish Communists were rebuked and punished for their lenient attitude toward the Jewish population. They were accused of “harboring disguised Bundist inclinations.” In accordance with this new general line with respect to the Jews, the Communist regime in Rumania already began to eradicate all remaining signs of Jewish national life in Bucharest and other towns and cities throughout Rumania.

It is not difficult to prophesy the ultimate fate of the Jewish community ip Rumania. It is at the mercy of an unchecked policy of national annihilation promoted by the Communists of Rumania under the guise of uprooting agents of British-American imperialism.

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