Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

The Bund Is Founded in a Stable

7 October 1897
Bro 2793/7

Thirteen representatives of local Jewish socialist groups secretly met in the stable of a tiny wooden house in the outskirts of Vilna on 7 October 1897. This date was chosen because it fell on the Jewish high holy days, when many Jews visited their families and travelling did not arouse the suspicion of the czarist police. Present were six representatives from Vilna, one from Minsk, two from Bialystok, one from Vitebsk, and three from Warsaw - totalling eleven men and two women.

During the long, stormy debates that lasted three days, the united Jewish socialist party of Russia and Poland came into being, to which Lithuania was added in 1901. The long Yiddish name, Algemeyner yidisher arbayterbund in Rusland, Poyln un Lite, was generally shortened to Bund (union). Vilna became the first centre of the Bund. When the Russian Social-Democratic Party was founded in Minsk in 1898, the Bund became one of its most important factions. The Bund's library and documentation was the IISH's first acquisition in 1935.