Julius Brutzkus

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Julius Davidovich Brutzkus or Judah Loeb Brutzkus (Hebrew: יהודה ליבּ בֶּן־דָּוִד ברוצקוס‎, Yehuda Loeb ben David Brutzkus, Russian: Юлий Давидович Бруцкус; 1870, Palanga, Courland Governorate – January 27, 1951 in Tel Aviv) was a Lithuanian Jewish historian, scholar, and politician.

He was born in 1870 in Palanga, Courland Governorate, Russian Empire (in present-day Lithuania). His brother was the economist Boris Brutzkus. Julius studied in Moscow at the gymnasium and the University of Moscow. His family, along with thousands of other Jewish families, was expelled from the city in 1892 (see May Laws). He was able to continue his education and received his doctorate in 1894. Brutzkus took part in the Russian Jewish bibliographical work, "Систематический Указатель Литературы о Евреях" (Systematic Index of Literature concerning Jews, "Sistematicheskiy Ukazatel Literatury o Yevreyakh"). Beginning in 1895, Brutzkus contributed to the Russian-Jewish periodical Voskhod. In 1899 he was appointed assistant editor of that periodical.

Throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Brutzkus authored a vast array of articles and books in Russian, Lithuanian, Polish, English, German, Yiddish, Hebrew, and French on the history of the Jews in Russia; he was particularly intrigued with the history of the Khazars and the early Rus' Khaganate. He also wrote numerous works on the economic and political history of Eastern Europe and the cultural history of Mizrahi Jewry.

In 1923 he served as Minister for Jewish Affairs in the Lithuanian government and was elected to the Lithuanian Parliament in November of that year.

Brutzkus was an ardent Zionist and encouraged Jews to engage in political action and self-defense.

Selected works[edit]

  • "Pershi zvistki pro Evreev n Polshchi ta na Rusi". Nankovyi Zbirnyk. 24 (1927), 3-11
  • "Bukhara." Encyclopaedia Judaica. vol. 4. Berlin, 1929. p. 1126.
  • Zeitschrift für die Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland. Berlin, 1931.
  • "Di Geshikhte fun di Bergyiden oyf kavkaz." (History of the Jewish Mountaineers in Dagestan, Caucasia), YIVO Studies in History, vol.2. Vilna, 1937. (in Yiddish)
  • "The Khazar Origin of Ancient Kiev". Slavonic and East European Review, XXII, 108-124. 1944.

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