Guide to the David Trotsky (1904-1945) Collection
(bulk 1920-1938)

RG 235

Processed by Ezekiel Lifschutz. Additional processing by Rachel S. Harrison as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation.

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



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

Descriptive Summary

Creator: David Trotsky
Title: David Trotsky (1904-1945) Collection
Dates:bulk 1920-1938
Abstract: This collection contains materials collected by David Trotsky relating to the Jewish community of Belgium in the inter-war period. Materials include printed documents, posters, reports, meeting minutes, and newspaper clippings, mainly pertaining to the Jews of Brussels and Antwerp.
Languages: The collection is in French, Belgian Dutch, Yiddish, Czech, German, Hungarian, and Polish.
Quantity: 3.4 linear feet (7 manuscript boxes, 35 map folders)
Identification: RG 235
Repository: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
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Biographical Note

David (Dud'eh) Trotsky was born in Vilna on 23 October 1904 and died on 21 March 1945 in Camp Ebensee, a sub-camp of Mauthausen in Austria. He graduated from the Jewish Real-Gymnasium in Vilna and later became a teacher. In 1924 he immigrated to Belgium, where he was engaged in collecting documents and materials covering Jewish social life in Belgium through the beginning of World War II. He collected specifically for YIVO in Belgium from 1928 to 1939.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of printed matter, such as newsletters, posters, programs, playbills, reports, notices, circulars, questionnaires, notes, by-laws, membership cards, flyers, invitations, election materials, and clippings. These relate to the political, social, cultural, economic and religious institutions of Belgian Jewry between the two World Wars, mainly in Brussels and Antwerp. It includes political materials on Zionist, Bundist and Communist organizations, Hashomer Hatsair, Keren Kayemet, Poale Tsion, Royte Hilf (Red Aid Society for Political Prisoners), and Gezerd (Association to Aid Jewish Colonization in the Soviet Union). Documents related to labor unions include the Union of Handbag Makers, Union of Women Cutters, unions for bankers, leather workers and diamond workers, Federation of Unions in Brussels, and the Merchants’ Association. Cultural and educational organizations are represented through Yiddish schools, copies of diplomas from the Peretz School in Brussels, Jewish sports clubs, performances from Jewish theaters, concerts, films, art exhibitions, and the Jewish People’s Club, the Gezelshaft-Kinder Fraynd (Society for Friends of Children), posters for a children’s camp, a children’s journal Grininke Beymelekhh (Green Trees), university circles, the Jewish Student Union, Jewish Press Club, and Jewish libraries. Religious and charitable institutions include the rabbinate, religious schools, synagogues, Khesed shel Emes (Burial Society), Hakhnosas Kalah (Aid Society for Poor Brides), Beys Lekhem (Charity for the Poor), G’milas Khasodim (Benevolent Society), women’s aid societies, Union of Polish Jews, Union of German-Jewish Refugees, Council of Jewish Organizations, Der Natsionaler Komitet fun Arbaytloze (National Unemployment Committee), Comite de Secours pour les Chomeurs Juifs (Relief Committee for Unemployed Jews), and landsmanshaftn. There are also materials on antisemitism, including leagues against antisemitism, boycotting the Nazi regime and extracts from antisemitic propaganda, pamphlets and invitations from missionary societies, business cards of commercial establishments, and newspaper clippings on the Jewish problem in Belgium. The documents are dated 1907-1940, the bulk of which are from 1920-1938.

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The collection is arranged in one series by the name of the organization or by subject. Folder descriptions often reflect the transliterated spelling of the organizations as found on official letterhead, rather than conventional spellings. When organization names were not transliterated, YIVO standards were used. Many folders originally contained a number of oversized posters, which have been removed to flat file storage. These posters were kept together by original folder number, so that, for example, the theater posters that were originally in folder 31 are in an oversized folder numbered 31. During the microfilming process, the oversized posters were removed from the folders and microfilmed as a separate series at the end of the collection, in either two or four parts depending on the size of the poster.

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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

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Related Material

The YIVO Library and Archives have other materials about Belgium, including some materials about the local YIVO office in Belgium. There are also several other collections that contain materials relating to Jewish political, social, cultural, economic and religious institutions in the interwar period.

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Separated Material

Books from the Trotsky collection have been removed to the YIVO Library. Materials about YIVO in Belgium and photos of YIVO in Vilna have been removed to the History of YIVO collection, RG 1.

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The collection is on 4 reels of microfilm (MK 474.1-474.4).

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); David Trotsky Collection; RG 235; folder number; YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

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Acquisition Information

The collection was given to the YIVO Archives by David Trotsky’s widow, Paulina Trotsky, in 1948.

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Processing information

Ezekiel Lifschutz created the original Yiddish finding aid, which was later translated. Additional processing completed in January 2012.

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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


David Trotsky Collection, 1907-1940

63 folders
Folder TitleDate
1 Zionist Federation of Belgium 1923-1939

yearly reports
conference reports
55 documents

Folder TitleDate
2 Zionist Association of Brussels 1930-1940

notices about meetings
200 documents

Folder TitleDate
3 Zionist Association of Brussels 1930-1939

announcements concerning lectures and entertainments
216 documents

Folder TitleDate
4 Various Zionist Groups 1919-1923

membership cards
addresses of Palestine offices in Europe
inquiries by the Workers' Bank in Palestine
report of the first party meeting of Tseirei Zion, Nov. 1921
158 documents (bound)

Folder TitleDate
5 Various Zionist Organizations 1920-1939

declaration of the Popular Zionist Association "Kadima"
People's Night School, Brussels
Commission for Zionist Refugees
Beis Am Tseirei Zion, Brussels
Mercaz Sioniste de Bruxelles
57 documents

Folder TitleDate
6 Agoudath Sion (Brussels) / Agudath Zion (Antwerp) 1929-1937

appeal to the Jewish population
announcements about lectures and other entertainments
25 documents

Folder TitleDate
7 Mizrachi 1934-1938

Nashei Mizrachi (women)
Histadruth Mizrachi
members' statements
announcements about guest lecturers
22 documents

Folder TitleDate
8 Various Zionist Youth Organizations 1930-1939

Tseirei Haam (Popular Youth), Antwerp
Hanoar Hazioni (Zionist You)
Federation de Jeunesse Sioniste de Belgique (Federation of Zionist Youth)
tickets, programs of entertainments
38 documents

Folder TitleDate
9 Poale Zion 1920-1926

Zeire Zion (Zionist Youth)
21 documents

Folder TitleDate
10 Jewish Socialist Party 1933-1939

Poale Zion-Zeire Zion
Central Committee circulars
lecture calendars
145 documents

Folder TitleDate
11 Zionist-Revisionist Organizations 1933-1939

Judenstaat Partij/Parti de l'Etat Juif (Jewish State Party) inquiries
manifesto of the Zionist-Revisionist group
Brith Trumpeldor (Beitar)
80 documents

Folder TitleDate
12 Zionist Election Materials 1931-1939

elections to the Zionist Congress
lists of various Zionist groupings
propaganda materials
81 documents

Folder TitleDate
13 WIZO (Association of Jewish Women) 1933-1939

materials of the activity of the organization
17 documents

Folder TitleDate
14 DROR (Jewish Socialist Youth) 1934-1937

appeal to parents
appeal to Jewish youth
Hebrew and Yiddish songs
work for youth
32 documents

Folder TitleDate
15 Hachomer Hatzair (Brussels) / Haschomer Hatsair (Antwerp) 1936-1938

Keren Hashomer (fund)
entertainment programs
art events
19 documents

Folder TitleDate
16 Left Poale Zion 1924-1938

Zerubavel's letter to Unzer Haim (headquarters), Antwerp
communication by Ikhud
Zerubavel's lectures in Antwerp
entertainment programs
Borokhov Academy
L. Melakh commemoration
To the pillory (reply to the Communist attack)
55 documents

Folder TitleDate
17A Keren Kayemeth, Keren Hayesod 1926-1940

appeal by the Chief Rabbinate in Palestine
report for the year 5698 (1938)
propaganda materials
collection lists
bazaar exhibitions
shekel commissions
report by the Keren Hayesod of Belgium for the year 1939
260 documents

Folder TitleDate
17B Keren Kayemeth, Keren Hayesod 1926-1940

same as above

Folder TitleDate
18 Bundist Organizations 1923-1938

inquiries by the Bund youth Tsukunft (The Future)
Vladimir Medem Fund
Medem Club
May 1st appeals
announcements about lectures (readings)
appeal to Jewish workers
provisional statement concerning the Arbeter Ring (Workmen's Circle)
advertisements about shows, entertainments
104 documents

Folder TitleDate
19 Various Communist Organizations 1925-1939

appeal by the Association of Jewish Workers
cultural associations in Belgium
appeal by the Pacifist Committee
appeal against hooliganism by the Bund leaders (1930)
announcement about Red High Holidays
collection sheet for relief action
appeal for the support of striking workers
18 documents

Folder TitleDate
20 Red Relief 1934-1938

United Jewish Relief Committee
Relief for Spanish fighters
collection lists for Polish political prisoners (1934)
appeals against Polish terror
64 documents

Folder TitleDate
21 Gezerd, Prokor 1925-1938

materials from both organizations for the support of Jewish colonization in the Soviet Union
materials about entertainments
announcements regarding meetings
108 documents

Folder TitleDate
22 Vocational Workers' Unions 1928-1939

Jewish Pantmakers' Union
Bakery Workers' Cooperative
Arbeter Heim (Workers' Home) Cooperative
Central Office for the Leather and Fur Industry
Jewish Hand-Bag Section
Diamond workers
Federation of Brussels Employers' Associations
40 documents

Folder TitleDate
23 Various Occupational Associations of Manufacturers and Artisans 1934-1939

hand-bag makers
ladies' tailors
Jewish Master Tailors' Union, Antwerp
Jewish Small Industry Association
70 documents

Folder TitleDate
24 Traders 1929-1937

Jewish "Marchands" (traders) Association, Brussels
explanatory meeting concerning the law about dealers, 1935
questionnaire form
invitations to meetings, entertainments
inquiry to all Jewish dealers
72 documents

Folder TitleDate
25 Unemployment 1932, undated

collection list of the Central Jewish Unemployment Committee in Brussels
National Unemployment Committee
4 documents

Folder TitleDate
26 School System 1932-1939

School and Education Society
Yiddish-Hebrew Supplementary School in Brussels
I.L. Peretz Supplementary School No. 2
Jewish Supplementary School at the Artisans Club, Antwerp
105 documents

Folder TitleDate
27 Jewish People's Club 1936-1937

advertisements, programs and invitations to literary events
writer events
30 documents

Folder TitleDate
28 Children's Friend Society, Brussels 1930-1939

summer colony
cash report, 1936
circulars about school relief
56 documents

Folder TitleDate
29 Libraries 1930-1938

materials concerning the libraries at the Prokor
Ber Borokhov Jewish Library
Zionist library
Jewish Popular Library, Antwerp
advertisements and programs of entertainments
96 documents

Folder TitleDate
30 Sport Clubs 1923-1940

Jewish workers' sport club "Jask", Antwerp
"Maccabi" sport club, Brussels
news about contests, entertainments
visits by sport clubs from other countries
141 documents

Folder TitleDate
31 Theater 1907-1940

Yiddish Dramatic Studio
Tsukunft (the future) dramatic circle, Brussels
Poale Zion dramatic circle, Antwerp
Yiddish Youth Theater
New Yiddish Theater
Yiddish Culture and Art Society
guest artists from Habimah, Ohel, Ida Kaminska, Menahem Rubin, Abraham Teitelbaum, and others
130 documents

Folder TitleDate
32 Concerts 1919-1940

programs and appearances of:
Hertz Grossbart
Hava Yoalith and DavidVardi
Yosele Kolodney
Yaakov Lerman
Hayele Grober
Rahel Holtzer
Menahem Rubin
Naomi Leaf and Joseph Goland
Medem Group
Yiddish Folk Chorus
Cultural section of the Jewish Socialist Party
gala entertainments
60 documents

Folder TitleDate
33 Yiddish Films 1937-1938

advertisements for:
Mir Kumen On (We are Coming)
The Dybbuk
Der Weisser Odler (The White Eagle)
The Life of Emile Zola
Yidle mitn Fidl (Yidl with his Fiddle)
16 documents

Folder TitleDate
34 Students 1925-1938

Jewish Student Union, Brussels
report from the Secretary's office
membership card
12 documents

Folder TitleDate
35 Various Cultural Organizations 1912-1940

Cultural Congress in Brussels
Mendele Jubilee Committee
First National Conference of Yiddish Writers and Artists in Belgium
Yiddish Cultural Club
Action Committee on the Rights of Yiddish in Palestine
40 documents

Folder TitleDate
36 Art Exhibitions 1938-1939

Kurt Peiser
Arno Stern
Fred Prince
Shulamith Abraham
K. Enthoven
5 documents

Folder TitleDate
37 The Press 1929-1939

Association of Yiddish Writers and Journalists
Unzer Togblat (Our Daily News)
Yidisher Almanakh (Yiddish Almanac)
Belgishe Bleter (Belgian Pages)
Cultural Club Amanouth (Faith)
press ball
Der Krokodil (The Crocodile)
Ekspres (Express)
26 documents

Folder TitleDate
38 Agudath Israel 1935-1937

Tseirei (Young) Agudath Israel
invitations to Siyum Hashas (conclusion of the Talmud)
visitors: Jakob Rosenheim, Rabbi Blau, Dr. Yitzhak Brauer
13 documents

Folder TitleDate
39 Letters from the Belgian Rabbinate 1910-1938

circulars of the consistory rabbinate
letters from several Chief Rabbis of Belgium
10 documents

Folder TitleDate
40 Talmud Torahs 1917, 1936, undated

Ladies' Committee to Aid Talmud Torahs in Antwerp
Yizkor (commemoration) collections
celebration of Chanukkah
7 documents

Folder TitleDate
41 Makhzikei Hadas 1934-1939

appeal to the Jewish population of Brussels on account of a ritual slaughter dispute
Hebrew calendars for the years 5696, 5697, 5698, 5699 (1936-1939)
list of community officials
Yeshiva Etz Hayyim, Heide-Kalmthout
announcements regarding meetings
29 documents

Folder TitleDate
42 Beis Lekhem, Brussels 1934-1938

appeal for the relief of families "who have lost their means of livelihood"
appeal for a Beis Lekhem Week
yearly ball poster
8 documents

Folder TitleDate
43 Study Houses, Minyonim 1935-1939

notices about High Holidays
synagogues in Brussels:
Tifereth Israel
Ahavas Reim
Noakh Sholem
synagogues in Antwerp:
Akhdus Israel
Beys Hakneses of Bikur Kholim and Talmud Torah
14 documents

Folder TitleDate
44 EZRAH (Jewish Aid Society) 1917-1937

appeal for aid
notices about events
membership card
10 documents

Folder TitleDate
45 Yesod Hatorah 1932-1938

religious school
Chanukkah celebration
6 documents

Folder TitleDate
46 Various Religious Societies 1928-1939

statutes of the movement "Akhdus Israel"
Adas Israel community
Taharas Israel Society
statutes of Khesed shel Emes
Haknoses Kale (orphaned girls' philanthropy), Antwerp
Gmilas Khasodim office (no-interest loan society), Brussels
Kahal Adas Yeshurun Talmud Torah (elementary school)
29 documents

Folder TitleDate
47 Various Religious Materials 1920-1938

Bris Hanoar Hashmonim (youth organization)
Hadlakas Ner L'shabes Kodesh (lighting of Sabbath candles) schedule
pidyon kapores (High Hodiday ritual)
19 documents

Folder TitleDate
48 Ezras Yoldos Aniyos Ladies'Aid Society 1931-1938

artistic event of relief to the needy
10 documents

Folder TitleDate
49 Various Materials from the Provinces 1934-1936

Jewish Home in Liege
Dealers' Association in Liege
YIVO, Liege
Jewish community in Seraing
First of May Academy, Charleroi
community elections in Charleroi
Peretz Academy, Charleroi
Yiddish Public School, Charleroi
People's Club, Charleroi
21 documents

Folder TitleDate
50 Association of Polish Jews 1935-1938

advertisements about balls
circular concerning Universal Students Association
Action Committee to Fight Against Antisemitism
protest meeting
High Holiday prayers in the Association House
excursion to Poland
Polish-Jewish Combatants' Union
mass meeting against separate ghetto benches at Polish universities
appeal by the Polish consul
World Conference of Polish Jews, Antwerp, 1937
conference agenda
71 documents

Folder TitleDate
51 Landsleit (people from the same hometown) 1933-1939

Russian Jews' Club
Siedlce landsleit
8 documents

Folder TitleDate
52 League Against Racism and Antisemitism 1937-1939

Belgian League Against Racism and Antisemitism
call to a protest against Czestochowa pogrom
26 documents

Folder TitleDate
53 Antisemitic Materials 1937-1939

"Jewish invasion of Belgium"
"Don't buy from Jews"
"Buy from the native peoples"
12 documents

Folder TitleDate
54 Newspaper Clippings 1932-1939

newspaper clippings (including antisemitic ones) from Belgian newspapers, concerning Jews

Folder TitleDate
55 Boycott Against Germany 1933-1939

fund collections
boycott actions
anti-Nazi propaganda
addresses by Chief Rabbi Yosef Wiener
protest meetings
Committee to Aid Nazi Victims
struggle against those who break the boycott
confidential circulars by the Committee for Economic Action
196 documents

Folder TitleDate
56A Council of Jewish Organizations 1934-1940

General Relief Committee
Jewish kitchen
political resolutions
Cultural Commission
182 documents

Folder TitleDate
56B Council of Jewish Organizations 1934-1940

same as above

Folder TitleDate
57A University Circle 1934-1940

announcements about lectures on Hebrew literature
materials of the University Circle
announcements on its activities
110 documents

Folder TitleDate
57B University Circle 1934-1940

same as above

Folder TitleDate
58 Association of German-Jewish Refugees 1937-1939

Working Community of German-Jewish Refugees
information on matters concerning refugees
45 documents

Folder TitleDate
59 Various Materials 1929-1939

notices about private and kosher enterprises
sea excursions
Linas Hatzedek (shelters)
statutes of a cooperative enterprise
Ivria Credit Institute
30 documents

Folder TitleDate
60 Missionaries 1935-1938

invitations to missionary lectures
poster for public meetings
"End the Battle between Jews and Christians"
5 documents

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