Young man with Folks-tsaytung, Daugavpils, Latvia, ca. 1921. (YIVO)

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Yiddish Social Democratic newspaper published from 25 November 1921 to 26 September 1939 and from February 1946 to January 1949 in Warsaw. Folks-tsaytung (People’s Newspaper) was the central organ of the General Jewish Workers Union in Poland (the Bund) and the successor to the Bundist daily organ Lebens-fragen (Vital Questions). In 1923, it changed its name three times: to Di naye tsayt (The New Times), Unzer tsayt (Our Times), and finally Unzer folks-tsaytung (Our People’s Newspaper). As of 17 January 1926, it was called Folks-tsaytung (People’s Newspaper), and one day later it adopted the name Naye folks-tsaytung (New People’s Newspaper). It was permanently in opposition to the authorities, was confiscated dozens of times, and was suspended on 5–11 October 1932. It began as a weekly, and from 1922 to 1939 was published daily. During its postwar revival it appeared only once every three to four weeks. It had four through eight pages and an approximate circulation of 10,000 in 1929; 18,000 in 1935; 14,000 in 1938; and 4,000 in its last year. It was the last Jewish newspaper in Warsaw at the beginning of the Nazi occupation.

“Worker! Your newspaper is the Folks-tsaytung!” Polish/Yiddish poster. Artwork by H. Cyna. Printed by Blok, Warsaw, 1936. (YIVO)

The formal editor-publishers changed frequently. In practice, the newspaper’s stances were determined by an editorial board appointed by the Central Committee of the Bund. Among the writers who contributed to the newspaper were Dovid Eynhorn, Melech Ravitch, Józef Jaszuński, I. J. Singer, Yoysef Tunkel, Yoysef Opatoshu, Itsik Manger, Yoshue Perle, Yekhiel Yeshaye Trunk, and Yisroel Shtern, among others.

The newspaper maintained a reputation as a serious and solid publication that avoided frenzied headlines and carried on a struggle against base and tasteless writing. In addition to being a Bundist organ with an anti-Communist and anti-Zionist orientation, the paper devoted regular columns to science and technology, the home and family, and sports, and also produced a literary page.

In 1946 the newspaper was revived under the name Folks-tsaytung until the Bund liquidated itself and merged with the Polish United Workers Party. It covered, among other topics, the revival of Jewish life in Poland and the situation in Palestine. It also published the memoirs of Holocaust survivors and poetry and prose.

The newspaper’s supplements were Di naye yugnt (The New Youth; April–August 1922), Kleyne folks-tsaytung (Little People’s Newspaper; 1926–1929), and the daily “after-dinner” newspaper 2 baytog (2:00 P.M.; April–September 1932).

Suggested Reading

Daniel Blatman, Lema‘an ḥerutenu ve-ḥerutkhem: Ha-Bund be-Polin, 1939–1949 (Jerusalem, 1996); M. Fuks, “Materiały do bibliografii żydowskiej prasy robotniczej i socjalistycznej wydawanej w Polsce w latach 1918–1939. II. Prasa Bundu,” Biuletyn ŻIH 106 (1978): 68–70, with English and Yiddish abstracts; Y. Sh. Herts, “Folks-tsaytung, 1918–1939,” in Di yidishe prese vos iz geven, ed. Dovid Flinker, Mordekhai Tsanin, and Sholem Rozenfeld, pp. 151–169 (Tel Aviv, 1975).



Translated from Russian by I. Michael Aronson