Jewish minority politics
Folksgrupe (Yiddish: פאלקסגרופע, 'People's Group' in English) was a Jewish Anti-Zionist political organization in Russia, founded at a meeting in Vilna in March 1905. The organization proclaimed to work for establishing 'civil, political and national rights for the Jewish People in Russia'. The full name of the organization was the League for the Attainment of Full Rights for the Jewish People in Russia. Its followers were known as Dostizhentsi (from Достижение, dostizheniye, 'attainment').
Led by three prominent lawyers, Maxim Vinaver, Oscar Gruzenberg and Henrik Sliozberg, it assembled liberal elements from the Cadet Party. The party demanded equal civic rights, abolishing laws imposing restrictions on Jews, linguistic rights (the right have access to Yiddish and Hebrew schooling) and independence of religious institutions. However, it did not advocate national autonomny for the Jews.
Zionists and the Folkspartei leader Simon Dubnow came to accuse the group of favouring assilimation. Dubnow had belonged to the group at its initial stage, and formed part of its central bureau. The party was however able to find common ground and some cooperation with the Bund, in their opposition to Zionism.
- Geifman, Anna. Russia Under the Last Tsar: Opposition and Subversion, 1894-1917. Malden: Blackwell Publishers, 1999. p. 68
- Dubnow, Simon, and Israel Friedlaender. History of the Jews in Russia and Poland. Bergenfield: Avotaynu, 2000. p. 472
- Pinkus, Benjamin. The Jews of the Soviet Union: The History of a National Minority. Soviet and East European studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. p. 45
- Gitelman, Zvi Y. A Century of Ambivalence: The Jews of Russia and the Soviet Union, 1881 to the Present. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 2001. p. 62