Why Creating this Network?
As Bundists have spread all around the world, so too has research on the Bund. The last major international meeting of researchers on the Bund took place in 1997 in Poland. There, idea were exchanged, fruitful discussions took place, and there was of course, some controversies. More than 10 years have passed since then (or following Boris Groys a whole scientific generation) . Today, various researchers of different generations and interests are living and working disconnected from one another, in places as varied as Australia, Israel, Europe and the Americas. Looking at ongoing projects and those finished in the last few years, it becomes clear that research on the Bund is alive and presenting a lot of new perspectives on history in a broader sense. 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.
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.
For some more informations you might want to visit YIVO's online exhibition on the Story of the Jewish Labor Bund, 1897-1997.
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. Scholars are welcomed from such diverse fields as Jewish history, political theory, Marxist and labour history, Eastern European history, history of ideas and cultural history.
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.