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[Page 145]

Chapter Six:

In the Years of 1908-1914

Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund


ה    E

The Two Newspapers of Bialystok


After the socialist storm in the years 1900-1907, among Bialystok society, a small group was established of [diploma-holding members of the]

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intelligentsia who were [adherents] of socialism and anti-nationalists. The group had a certain influence in the city and published a Russian newspaper. It should be understood that it did not think about the wide strata of people, only of the intelligentsia and the young.

At the end of 1909 a society Bialystokskoje Izdatelskoje Tovarishchestvo (Bialystok Publishing Company) was founded. S.L. WEINREICH, E.W. DAWIDOWSKI and F.D. NOWAK stood at its head. On the 1st of January, the society began to publish a daily newspaper, Bialystokskoje Gezeta [Bialystok Gazette]. The editor was Y.S. ZELIGMAN. On the 6th of May 1910 it closed because the newspaper suffered from a scarcity of money and could not sustain the many fines the regime placed on it.

Two months later, on the 6th of July, the same editor began to publish the Golos Bielostoka [Voice of Bialystok]. The newspaper, of course, outwardly brought profits, defending Jews against the attack of the Russian anti-Semitic newspapers in Bialystok. However, its influence internally was harmful because it brought in assimilationist Russian leanings.

The first daily newspaper in Bialystok with the name Bialystoker Togeblat [Bialystoker Daily Newspaper] was founded by a group of Zionists (Dr. Y. MOHILIWER, Dr. Y. CHAZANOWICZ, Eber WOLKOWSKI, Dr. FINER, Dr. ZIMAN, Shmuel-Hersh GOLDBERG) in order to weaken the influence [of the Golos Bielostoka] on the Jewish population. A. Sh. HERSZBERG was its first editor and publisher. The newspaper had a Zionist-National affinity. In its time, it had a great ethical and national influence on the Jewish population. It began to publish on the 10th of July 1913. It stopped publishing on the 5th of July 1915 when Nikolai NIKOLAEVICH closed all of the Jewish and Hebrew newspapers. The older generation still remembers this national newspaper with great respect, that treated everyone with impartiality and reacted to every event and phenomena in Bialystok communal, economic, cultural and philanthropic life.[7]

Translator's Footnotes

  1. MASZCZICKI, in his monograph about Bialystok (see the review of this work in Pinkos Bialystok, first volume, pages 3-9) says on page 190: “Although Jews made up a numerical majority of the Bialystok population, they still did not have their own newspaper. This is because the Orthodox were not much of a cultural element [and they] did not understand the necessity of the press. The intelligentsia circles drew

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    cultural minds here, to the Russian and Polish culture. The only weak representative in Bialystok was a non-periodical magazine, Heyntike Neyes [Today's News], edited by M. SIWA.”
    As we see, the entire story is false: About M. SIWA's newspaper that he mentions, still more pages [of the newspaper] were published in order to not lose the value of a newspaper that he had obtained permission to publish. In this case, MASZCZICKI writes, most of the information was about Jews in Bialystok. Return

From the beginning the main co-worker at the newspaper was the eminent writer Moshe TEITZ and later the eminent journalist with the name Dan, who was later the editor of the Jewish newspaper in Vilna. However, during the second year, in the first year of the war, my youngest son Henekh and I worked a great deal at the newspaper.

Later, during the German occupation, I again wanted to publish a newspaper, but I did not receive permission because the occupying regime itself published a newspaper in Yiddish and also in German.


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