Arkadi Kremer

Arkadi Kremer (also known as Aleksandr Kremer or Solomon Kremer; 1865–1935) was a Jewish Marxist leader known as the ‘Father of the Bund’ (General Jewish Labour Bund) an organisation instrumental in the spread of Marxism in Russia and the development of Zionism and Jewish trade Unionism. Kremer was born in Svencionys in Vilna Governorate, Russian Empire (in present-day Lithuania), into a Jewish family. As a student he was involved in the Militant Marxist organisation ‘Proletariat’ and was first arrested in 1889. He returned to Vilna in 1890, where he joined one of the earliest Marxist circles was instrumental in shift tactics from merely printing propaganda to active terrorism. In 1893 Kremer produced On Agitation (Ob Agitatsii) with the future Menshevik leader Jew Julius Martov promoting Communist disruption. Known as the ‘Vilna Programme’ it greatly influenced the Marxist movement and particularly the Jewish Marxist Vladimir Lenin. In September 1897, Kremer began founding the General Jewish Workers’ Union (Bund) in Vilna. In 1898, Kremer was instrumental in bringing together various Marxist and Social-Democratic groups in the Russian empire and among (Jewish) exiles abroad to form the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party (RSDRP). Among these was League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class (LSEWC) founded by Vladimir Lenin and Julius Martov that had already united twenty different Marxist circles that Lenin now dominated. While key players in the LSEWC curiously Lenin and the Jew Martov only turn up as members of the RSDLP just prior to the 2nd congress and it was here in 1903 that Lenin and Martov contrived a dispute over membership of the party that would lead to a dialectical split resulting in a hardline Bolshevik (majority) under Lenin and more liberal Menshevik (minority) under Martov enabling the Jew Jacob Schiff to finance both sides to ensure a Marxist future for Russia. The Bund was one of the constituent organisations of the RSDRP. Kremer was involved during the attempted seizure of Russia and later arrested in 1907 when the Tsar reasserted control. Kremer died in 1935.