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Jewish RadicalsA Documentary History$
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Tony Michels

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814757437

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814757437.001.0001

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The World of Socialism and Revolution (memoir; 1963)

The World of Socialism and Revolution (memoir; 1963)

(p.49) 3 The World of Socialism and Revolution (memoir; 1963)
Jewish Radicals

Alexander Bittelman

NYU Press

This chapter chronicles the formative years of Alexander Bittelman, one of the founding members of the Communist Party in the United States. Specifically, the chapter recounts his experiences in the Bund, an underground organization of Jewish workers of a socialist and revolutionary nature. Its full name was The General Jewish Labor Alliance of Lithuania, Poland and Russia. The “Bund” was simply the Jewish word for “alliance.” During his time in the Bund, Bittelman learned about socialism, revolution, and the democratic republic; he also learned more about class struggle, exploitation, capitalists, and the proletariat—the last four he'd experienced firsthand as one of the oppressed. Bittelman would also experience a religious crisis during this period, as he attempted to reconcile his Jewish beliefs with the atheistic socialist movement.

Keywords:   Alexander Bittelman, Bund, socialism, revolution, religion, atheism, Judaism, Jewish workers

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