From 1897 to 1921, the General Jewish Labour Bund operated as a Jewish socialist party in Russia, Lithuania, and Poland. Composed primarily of Yiddish-speaking, secular Jews, the Bund struggled on two fronts: for the construction of socialism to liberate the working class, and for national cultural autonomy to protect the rights of Eastern European Jews to their own institutions. The history of the Bund is filled with twists and turns, and complicated entanglements with the Russian Social Democratic Party, the Bolsheviks, and the Soviet Union. Although it was dissolved in 1921, the legacy of the Bund stretched far into the 20th century. In Poland, former Bundists organized resistance against antisemitism and played a key role in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising after the invasion of the Nazis. In the United States, Bundists created new socialist organizations and played pivotal roles in labor struggles, utopian movements, and more.

Artist and writer Molly Crabapple joins Art for the End Times to discuss her upcoming book on the Bund, her personal history with Yiddish, and what struggles today can learn from the historical example of the Bundists.

Post-Production: Dwayne Gladden


The transcript of this podcast will be made available as soon as possible.

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Lyta Gold is a freelance writer and editor. She is also the host of the TRNN podcast Art for the End Times. Follow her at @lyta_gold.