The General Jewish Labour Bund

The 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 that began barely a month following the First Zionist Congress in Tsarist Russia. Founded in Vilnius between September and October 7th 1897 by Jew Arkadi Kremer the Bund was instrumental in the spread of Marxism in Russia and the development of Zionism and Jewish trade Unionism. It united 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.