YIVO Exhibitions

Friday, January 30, 2015

Here and Now: The Vision of the Jewish Labor Bund in Interwar Poland (2002)

bund"Here and Now" was exhibited by YIVO to commemorate the 105th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish Labor Bund. Made possible through the generous support of the YIVO Board of Directors and by YIVO Trustee Motl Zelmanowicz, the exhibition was curated by Leo Greenbaum, Krysia Fisher, and Fruma Mohrer. It opened on October 28, 2002 at the Center for Jewish History. All the materials exhibited in "Here and Now" were drawn from the collections of the YIVO Archives and the YIVO Library. The establishment of the Polish Republic in 1918 was heralded by Poles and Jews alike as the dawn of a new age of democracy, equal rights and social justice. For a large percentage of the three million Jews who lived in Poland, however, the interwar period was one of widespread virulent anti- Semitism, systematic economic discrimination, and increasing impoverishment. While Zionist parties urged Jews to leave and emigrate to Palestine, the Bund took up the call for Doikeyt or Living Here and Now. The critical problems of Jewry needed to be resolved, not by escaping from the hard realities of everyday life, but by addressing them, Here and Now, in Poland, by means of an energetic political and cultural program.


View Items from the Exhibition

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  • Noah Portnoy (standing), chairman of the Bund Central Committee, together with other leaders of the Bund, at a celebration of the party's 30th anniversary. (Seated from right) Joseph Chmurner, Meir Wasser, Sarah Schweber, Henryk Erlich, Victor Alter (in back) and Beinish Michalewicz. Warsaw, 1927.
  • A Yiddish literary anthology, Children of the World, published by the secular Yiddish school organization. Tsysho, Vilna. January, 1940.
  • Bikhervelt (The World of Books), a monthly Yiddish literary journal published by Kultur Lige, an organization affiliated with the Bund, which promoted Yiddish literature and culture. January, 1929.
  • Children sledding at the Medem Sanatorium in Miedzeszyn, near Warsaw. January, 1930.
  • Cover of a Yiddish school notebook on anatomy by Chaya Andruzhevsky, a 6th grade student at the Kupferstein School. Vilna, 1928-1929.
  • Members of the Morgenstern sports club on an outing in Skalka, Poland. 1920s.
  • Members of the Tsukunft Self-Defense Group carry the Socialist flag on May Day. Warsaw, 1930s.
  • Members of the Tsukunft youth group. (Middle row) Rachel Fligel, who later married Alexander Erlich, a son of Bundist leader Henryk Erlich. 1931.


Read the Exhibition Catalog




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