General Jewish Labour Bund

AZL flag holder TransparentThe General Jewish Labour Bund in Lithuania, Poland and Russia, generally called The Bund (cognate to German: Bund, meaning federation or union) or the Jewish Labour Bund, was a Jewish Marxist party in the Russian Empire, active between 1897 and 1920. Remnants of the party continued to exist abroad. A member of the Bund is called a Bundist. Founded in Vilnius on October 7, 1897 the Bund sought to unite all Jewish workers in the Russian Empire into a united Marxian party, and also influence the wider Russian social democratic movement to achieve a Communist Russia. Indeed created before the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP), the Bund was a founding collective member at the RSDLP’s first congress in Minsk in March 1898.The Russian Empire then included Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine and most of present-day Poland, areas where the majority of the world’s Jews then lived. Thus Jews wanted to achieve a legal minority status in Russia. It joined with the Poalei Zion (Labour Zionists) and other Zionist groups to form organisations that would terrorise native communities and government officials. In the Polish areas of the empire, the Bund was a leading force in the 1905 attempted seizure of Russia. During the years that followed the party concentrated on labour activism and around 1909–1910 led strikes in ten cities.

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