Staff of Der moment, Warsaw, 1920s. (Back row, left to right) Mordkhe Spektor, A. Almi, Yoysef Tunkel, Moyshe Bunem Yustman, Tsevi Pryłucki, D. Druk,  Sh. Janowski, Yisroel Khayim Zagorodski (front), Bentsion Chilinowicz, Yisroel Khayim Zagorodski, and Hillel Zeitlin. (YIVO)

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Moment, Der

Yiddish daily newspaper. Published between 11 May 1910 and 22 September 1939, Der moment was one of the two longest running and most important Yiddish daily newspapers published in Warsaw. Its founder and official editor was Noah Pryłucki (1882–1941), the son of Tsevi Pryłucki, who was founder and editor of the first daily Yiddish newspaper in Warsaw, Der veg (1905–1907); the elder Pryłucki was Der moment’s actual editor for most of its existence. In its first few years, the paper was nonpolitical, but displayed a pro-Zionist and antiassimilationist stand in line with the ideology of its columnist Hillel Zeitlin. Der moment was able to compete successfully with its rival Haynt (founded in 1908) because of such popular, prominent contributors and columnists as Mordkhe Spektor, B. Yeushzon (Moyshe Bunem Yustman), Yoysef Tunkel, and Noah Pryłucki himself.

From Noah Pryłucki in Warsaw to N. Gelfand in Płońsk, Poland, 27 July 1930, in his capacity as an editor of Der moment, asking Gelfand to send him his memoirs of Chaim Soutine. At bottom is a note from Daniel Tsharni dated 27 June 1952, saying that 22 years later Gelfand has sent him the memoir and that he is turning Pryłucki's letter over to YIVO. Yiddish. RG 107, Letters Collection. (YIVO)

In 1916, Der moment became the offi- cial organ of the Folkist Party. The paper fought for Jewish cultural autonomy, for Yiddish to be recognized as the Jewish national language, and in support of the Yiddish school network. Der moment, unlike other Yiddishist papers, was sympathetic to the Zionist movement, to Jewish settlement in Palestine, and to the Hebrew language; it also represented the interests of Jewish artisans. The paper warned against the anti-Jewish policies of the Polish government and helped to organize public protests against antisemitism in concert with other Yiddish dailies.

Der moment included weekend supplements devoted to such subjects as literature and culture, motion pictures, sports, health, and humor. Each daily issue contained, in addition to the regular news and commentary, two serialized novels: one by a notable author such as Zalman Shneour or Zusman Segalovitsh, the other a suspense novel by an anonymous author (one of whom was Yoshue Perle, who signed with three asterisks).

The financial success of the newspaper and its large circulation (between 20,000 and 25,000 copies per day in the late 1920s) led the editors to publish a noontime tabloid, Varshever radio (1924–1939), which had many readers too. Wasteful management and the world economic crisis brought about the paper’s collapse in 1931, however, and the only way to save it was to convert it into a cooperative called Di prese. Der moment never fully recovered from this crisis. The collapse of the Folkist Party, competition with Haynt, and a number of unsuccessful publications forced the paper to change course. In 1935, it became the official organ of the Revisionist party, headed by Vladimir Jabotinsky.

In 1937, an official receiver (another Revisionist) was appointed for the paper, and working relations reached an all-time low, culminating in a strike by the editor Pryłucki and the senior journalists. Nevertheless, the paper continued to appear regularly until the eve of Yom Kippur, 22 September 1939, when its building was destroyed by a German bomb.

Suggested Reading

Natan Cohen, “‘Iton’ut yomit Yehudit be-Polin,” in Kiyum ve-shever: Yehude Polin le-dorotehem, ed. Israel Bartal and Israel Gutman, vol. 2, pp. 303–312 (Jerusalem, 2001); Mendel Moses, “Der moment,” in Fun noentn over: Monografyes un memuarn, vol. 2, pp. 239–299 (New York, 1956).



Translated from Hebrew by Rami Hann