Yiddish Revolutionaries in Migration

The Transnational History of the Jewish Labour Bund


This ground-breaking history of the General Jewish Labour Bund in migration investigates how the organisation transformed itself from a revolutionary protagonist in early twentieth-century Russia to a socialist institution of secular Jewish life and yidishkayt for Jews in North and South America. By following thousands of activists’ paths from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the working-class Yiddish neighbourhoods of New York and Buenos Aires, Frank Wolff traces the networks that connected these revolutionaries on both sides of the Atlantic, resulting in a richly detailed social history of this seminal transnational movement.

This book was first published in 2014 as Neue Welten in der Neuen Welt: Die transnationale Geschichte des Allgemeinen Jüdischen Arbeiterbundes, 1897–1947 by Böhlau Verlag, Köln, ISBN 978-3412222116.

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Frank Wolff, PD Dr. habil., is a historian and researcher at the Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS) at Osnabrück University. His other publications include Die Mauergesellschaft: Kalter Krieg, Menschenrechte und die deutsch-deutsche Migration 1961–1989 (Suhrkamp, 2019) and What Is a Migration Regime? Was ist ein Migrationsregime? (Springer VS, 2018).
Editorial Note
List of Figures and Tables


Part 1 Conceptualising the Bund as a Social Movement

1 Bundist Activism

2 Activism Patterns in Eastern Europe: Constituting the Transferable

Part 2 ‘Exalted Moments of Our Romantic Past’: Community Building through Collective Remembrance

3 Remembrance as Activist Practice: Initial Considerations

4 The Bundist Press: From Agitational Publications to Transnational Memorik

5 Memories beyond ‘Me’ and ‘Us’: Bundist Autobiography as Social Formation

6 Preserving Collective Knowledge in Migration: Collective Biography and Questionnaires

7 Preliminary Conclusions

Part 3 Old Masses in New Streets: Transnationalising the Bund

8 Between Here and There: Bundist Gatherings Overseas

9 Reproduction as Creation: Worker Organisation and Secondary Bundism

10 Politics, Economics, Yidishkayt: The Tangled Web of Class Struggle and Cultural Work

11 Passing on Yidishkayt: Transfers and Limits of Bundist Educational Work

12 Relief Funds as Weapons: From Revolutionary Fundraising to Transnational Cultural Work

Conclusion, or: The Ambivalence of Bundist Modernity

All interested in Jewish Studies, Jewish history, mass migration to the Americas, the socialist and labour movements, memory studies, transnational social movements, and twentieth-century Eastern European, US and Argentinian history.
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