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Kultur Lige

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Title: Kultur Lige  
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Subject: Arbeiter Fragen, Folkstsaytung, General Jewish Labour Bund in Belarus, General Jewish Labour Bund in Latvia, General Jewish Labour Bund in Lithuania
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Kultur Lige

The Kultur Lige (Culture League) was a secular scenic designer Boris Aronson (who later worked on Broadway),[2] the artist and architect El Lissitzky,[2] the writer David Bergelson,[3] the sculptor Joseph Chaikov, the writer Peretz Markish,[4] the poet David Hofstein,[5] and Isaac Ben Ryback.[2] Bergelson, Markish and Hofstein were later executed on Joseph Stalin's orders during the so-called Night of the Murdered Poets, in 1952.

Artists like Ryback and Lissitzky who were members of the group tried to develop a distinctively Jewish form of modernism in which abstract forms would be used as a means of expressing and disseminating popular culture.[2]

The manifesto of the group, published in November 1919, stated:

"The goal of the Kulturlige is to assist in creating a new Yiddish secular culture in the Yiddish language, in Jewish national forms, with the living forces of the broad Jewish masses, in the spirit of the working man and in harmony with their ideals of the future."[6]

It also listed the "three pillars" of the Kultur Lige as Yiddish education for the people, Yiddish literature, and Jewish art.[7]

In 1919 members of the group, [8]

In 1920 the Kiev branch of the organization was taken over by the [1]

Afterward, the remains of the Kultur Lige in the Soviet Union continued under the auspices of the Yevsektsiya as a publishing house, mostly focusing on Yiddish textbooks for children. In Poland, the League established offices in other cities such as Wilno and Łódź. In 1924, it began to issue the Literarishe Bleter magazine (based on the Polish Wiadomosci Literackie) (Literature News) which became the main forum for discussions by the Yiddish intelligentsia on subjects of art, literature and theater.[8]


  1. ^ a b Marek Bartelik, "Early Polish modern art: unity in multiplicity, Issue 7255", Manchester University Press, 2005, p. 140, [1]
  2. ^ a b c d Aviel Roshwald, Richard Stites, "European culture in the Great War: the arts, entertainment, and propaganda, 1914-1918", Cambridge University Press, 2002, p. 123, [2]
  3. ^ Joshua Rubenstein, Vladimir Pavlovich Naumov, "Stalin's secret pogrom: the postwar inquisition of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, Issue 4713", Yale University Press, 2001, p. 145, [3]
  4. ^ Jeffrey Veidlinger, "The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish culture on the Soviet stage", Indiana University Press, 2000, p. 119, [4]
  5. ^ Nora Levin, "The Jews in the Soviet Union since 1917: paradox of survival, Volume 1", NYU Press, 1990, p. 201, [5]
  6. ^ a b c Victor Margolin, "The struggle for utopia: Rodchenko, Lissitzky, Moholy-Nagy, 1917-1946", University of Chicago Press, 1997, p. 27, [6]
  7. ^ Benjamin Harshav, "The Moscow Yiddish Theater: art on stage in the time of revolution", Yale University Press, 2008, p. 6, [7]
  8. ^ a b David E. Fishman, "The rise of modern Yiddish culture", Univ of Pittsburgh Press, 2005, p. 83, [8]
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