Guide to the Records of the Union of Yiddish Writers and Journalists in Vilna
1919-1939

RG 55

Processed by Marek Web

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, NY 10011

Phone: (212) 246-6080

Fax: (212) 292-1892

Email: archives@yivo.cjh.org

URL: http://www.yivoinstitute.org

©2012 YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Sarah Ponichtera in January 2012. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: The Union of Yiddish Writers and Journalists in Vilna
Title: Guide to the Records of the Union of Yiddish Writers and Journalists in Vilna
Dates:1919-1939
Abstract: The Yiddish Writers and Journalists Union (Yid. Fareyn fun Yidishe Literatn un Zhurnalistn in Vilne) was active in Vilna from 1916 until ca.1940. Its membership rose over the years to 47 persons. Union members were employed in a variety of Yiddish dailies and periodicals, and in publishing houses. The Union was dissolved during the Soviet occupation of Vilna, 1939-1941.
Languages: The collection is in Yiddish and Polish.
Quantity: 7.5" linear feet (one and one half manuscript boxes)
Identification: RG 55
Repository: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
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Historical Note

Fareyn fun Yidishe Literatn un Zhurnalistn in Vilne – Union of Yiddish Writers and Journalists in Vilna, was a professional association, active in Vilna from 1916 until the outbreak of the second world war. Its membership comprised newspaper editors and writers employed in Yiddish-language publishing enterprises, and other Yiddish authors residing in Vilna.

The union was founded in 1916 in wartime Vilna which was then under German occupation. The proponent of the union was the Bundist leader Beinush Michalewicz (Izbicki), and 15 writers declared their approval. However, the group remained inactive until the end of the war. The union was revived in 1919 by S. Ansky who wrote by-laws of the new association. Ansky became its honorary chairman, and A. Waiter its secretary. In April 1919 Waiter was killed during the pogrom perpetrated by the Polish military. The leadership of the union was passed on to S. Niger and, after his departure to the U.S., to Zalman Reisen. In the subsequent years the post of the chairman was occupied by Reisen, S.L. Zitron, Moishe Zilburg, Falk Halpern, Dan Kaplanovich, and Moishe Shalit. A.I. Grodzenski served as the union’s secretary for most of the time.

Among its activities, the union arranged for publication of books by its members, established a loan fund ( “kassa”), introduced pensions for retired writers, organized strikes, conducted negotiations with publishers and newspaper owners, and arbitrated disputes between its members. The union maintained contacts with Poland’s Union of Yiddish Writers and Journalists in Warsaw as well as with regional unions. It was also instrumental in establishing a Yiddish Pen Club Center in Vilna and organizing in June 1927 a national conference of the Yiddish press. Finally, it maintained for its membership a well-stacked reading room.

The Union of Yiddish Writers and Journalist in Vilna was dissolved ca. 1940.

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Scope and Content Note

These are administrative records of the Fareyn fun Yidishe Literatn un Zhurnalistn in Vilne, Union of Yiddish Writers and Journalists in Vilna. They represent a fraction of the original union records but are nevertheless extensive enough to document the main activities of this organization, and the role of the Yiddish press and publishing in Vilna in the interwar period. Included are minutes of meetings, 1919-1939; correspondence about the Yiddish Pen Club; correspondence with newspapers; memoranda to the JDC (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) and the Vilna Kehillah about relief funds; general correspondence.

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Arrangement

This collection has been arranged into one series.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

Permission to use the collection must be obtained from the YIVO Archivist.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish part or parts of the collection must be obtained from the YIVO Archives. For more information, contact:
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011
email: archives@yivo.cjh.org

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Records of the Union of Yiddish Writers and Journalists in Vilna; RG 55; box number; folder number; YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

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Acquisition Information

These records were originally part of the YIVO Archives in Vilna and were received by YIVO in 1947 from the Offenbach Archival Depot (OAD), along with other surviving collections from the YIVO Institute in Vilna .

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

 

The Records of the Union of Yiddish Writers and Journalists in Vilna,  1919-1939

In Yiddish and Polish.
Box 1-2, .63 linear feet.
BoxFolderTitleDate
11Statutes1922
12Minutes1919-1923
13Minutes1924-1939
14Memorandum to JDC about material assistance for the members of the unionca. 1925
15Yiddish Pen Club
16Memoranda, circulars
17Yiddish Pen Club, Translators Section
18Correspondence with state and local government1922-1939
19Correspondence: Di Tsayt1920–1940
110Correspondence: Unzer fraynd1922-1924
111Correspondence: Unzer ovnt kurier1924–1932
112Correspondence: Vilner tog1922–1930
113Correspondence: Folks-gezunt1923
114Correspondence1919–1923
115Correspondence1924–1926
116Correspondence1927–1929
117Correspondence1930–1934
118Correspondence1935–1937
119Correspondence1938–1939
120Correspondenceundated
121Correspondence, miscellaneous
122Organization Committee for the Conference of the Jewish Press in Poland1927
123Arbitration Court
124Memoranda to the Joint Distribution Committee and the Kehillah1939
BoxFolderTitleDate
225Financial reports and bookkeeping (notebooks)1926-1935
226Financial reports and bookkeeping (annual balances)1923-1934
227Membership lists and dues; misc. bills
228Miscellaneousundated
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