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Daniel Pasmanik

PASMANIK, DANIEL (1869–1930), Zionist writer and leader. Born in Gadyach, Ukraine, Pasmanik studied medicine in Switzerland and Bulgaria and from 1899 served as an instructor in medicine at Geneva University. He joined the Zionist Movement in 1900 and became one of its leading publicists and theoreticians. In 1905, upon his return to Russia, he joined the editorial board of the monthly Yevreyskaya Zhizn and later of the weekly Razsvet. He advocated the evolutionary concept of Zionism, practical work in Ereẓ Israel, and active Zionist participation in Diaspora life (see *Helsingfors Program). Pasmanik's articles appeared in Russian, Yiddish, German, Hebrew, Polish, and Croat periodicals; several were published in pamphlet and book form. An entire Zionist generation was educated largely on Pasmanik's writings. He also contributed articles to Die *Welt, to the non-Zionist Yevreyskiy Mir, and to the Yevreyskaya Entsiklopediya. In 1905 (January–October) he published pseudonymously, in Yevreyskaya Zhizn, a much-discussed, largely autobiographical novel, "Istoriya odnogo yevreyskago intelligenta" ("The Story of a Jewish Intellectual"). He was also among the first theoreticians of *Po'alei Zion, with his Teorie un Praktike fun Poalei Zionizmus (1906). During the civil war in Russia (1917–21), Pasmanik sided with the counterrevolutionary White armies of generals Denikin and Wrangel, who were responsible for innumerable anti-Jewish pogroms. In 1919 he emigrated to Paris, where in 1920–22 he was coeditor of the Russian émigré paper Obshcheye Delo. Association with these circles estranged Pasmanik from the Zionist movement.

Pasmanik's main writings include: Kritika "teoriy" Bunda ("A Critique of the 'Theories' of the Bund," 1906); Sudby yevreyskago naroda: problemy yevreyskoy obshchestvennosti ("The Destiny of the Jewish Nation…," 1917); and Russkaya revolyutsiya i yevreystvo: bolshevizm i iudaizm ("Jewry and the Russian Revolution…," 1923). His study Stranstvuyushchiy Izrail: psikhologiya yevreystva v razseyanii ("The Wandering Jew: The Psychology of Diaspora Jewry," 1910) was also published in German (1911) and Yiddish (1918). Pasmanik's last book, Qu'est-ce que le judaïsme? was published in 1930. Several studies on medical topics appeared in specialized German and French publications.

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