DAN (Gurvich), FYODOR ILYICH


DAN (Gurvich), FYODOR ILYICH (1871–1947), Russian Socialist and journalist. Born in St. Petersburg, Dan was a physician by profession. He joined the Socialist movement and in 1898 was banished to Siberia for three years. At the conference of the Social Democratic Workers party in 1902 he represented the underground newspaper Iskra, of which Lenin was one of the editors. In the following year he was rearrested and again sent to Siberia. This time he escaped abroad and joined the Menshevik wing of the party, in which he became a prominent figure. He returned to Russia in 1905, but in 1908 he was again forced to leave the country as a political exile. When he returned to Russia in 1912, he became editor of the newspaper Rabochaya Gazeta. In World War I, Dan served for a short time as an army doctor but in spite of his war service he was again sent to Siberia.

The February Revolution of 1917 set Dan free. He played an important role as a member of the presidium of the Petrograd Soviet and on the executive of the All-Russian Soviet, and opened the Second Congress in 1918. But unlike the Bolsheviks, he favored the continuation of the war, and opposed their policies. He was arrested in 1922 and after a year in prison was compelled to leave the Soviet Union. In 1923 he was a Menshevik delegate at the founding of the Labor and Socialist International (in Hamburg). He was one of the editors of Sotsialisticheski vestnik first in Berlin and then in Paris; and after the death of his brother-in-law Julius *Martov, in 1923, he became the leading figure in the Russian Social-Democratic movement in exile. In 1940 he settled in New York.

Dan wrote the essay "Die Sozialdemokratie Russlands nach dem Jahre 1908" in Martov's Geschichte der russischen Sozialdemokratie (1926). His own book, Proiskhozhdenie bolshevizma ("The Source of Bolshevism," New York, 1946), appeared shortly before his death. In the years 1941–47 he published the magazine Novyi Put. He was opposed to Zionism, but as early as 1904 published an article in Iskra denouncing antisemitism and supporting Jewish self-defense. In his last years he sympathized with the idea of a Jewish state.


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.