Cedars of Lebanon: Youth of a Bundist
VLADIMM MEDEM, born of assimilated Russian Jewish parents in Minsk in 1879 and baptized at birth in the Greek Orthodox Church, devoted his life wholly to the cause of the Jewish labor movement in the ranks of the Bund (General Jewish Labor Bund), the Jewish Socialist party founded in 1897.
The Bund developed in underground channels in czarist Russia and its Polish and Lithuanian dependencies. With the bolshevization of Russia and the disenfranchisement of the Bund there, the new republic of Poland, established in 1918, became the center of Bund activity. During the twenty-one years of Polish independence, the Bund exerted a profound influence in all areas of Jewish life. The Jewish trade union movement in Poland was largely under Bund control; a ramified Yiddish school system from kindergarten through teacher-training institutes grew up under its aegis. In later years, Bund representatives gained majorities in local Jewish communal bodies and spoke for the majority of the Jewish voters in municipal governments. The civic defense of the Jewish community of Poland and the struggle against discrimination were largely conducted by the Bund in cooperation with Polish Socialists.
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