Abraham Frumkin

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Abraham Frumkin

Abraham Frumkin (1872–1946), the son of Israel Dov Frumkin, was a prominent Jewish anarchist best known as a contributor to the daily Yiddische Welt of New York.

Born in Jerusalem, he spent a year in Jaffa as a teacher of Arabic. In 1891 he went to Constantinople to study law but did not graduate because of lack of funds. In 1893 he went to New York City and came in contact with anarchist ideas for the first time. By 1894 he had returned to Constantinople with lots of anarchist books and propaganda material. In the house of Moses Schapiro from South Russia and his wife Nastia, which was at that time a place for young activists, he found open ears and minds. Schapiro, who had to flee from Russia because of his revolutionary activities, was soon inflamed by the new ideas and went together with Frumkin to Paris and London. From there he took all the books he could get about anarchism – Kropotkin, Reclus, Malatesta – back home. From London the Yiddish anarchist paper Arbeiterfraind was sent to Constantinople where the Jewish community around Schapiro welcomed him.

In 1896 Abraham Frumkin, still as a young man, moved from Constantinople (Istanbul) to London. He became a friend of Rudolf Rocker. Then, in 1896, they decided to go to London to open a print shop for Yiddish anarchist booklets. Many years later he wrote a book about this time titled From The Spring Period of Jewish Socialism.

Schapiro had to return to Constantinople in 1897. He left his print shop to Frumkin, who decided to publish his own little paper Der Propagandist (11 issues) ending in 1897. After a while in Liverpool and Leeds (1898) Frumkin went to Paris, and stayed there for one year. In 1899 he again went to America 1899. Schapiro was later engaged in the Russian Revolution of 1917 and was a co-founder 1922/23 of the IWA in Berlin.

Frumkin went to the US where he died in 1946.