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Abramovič Rafail A. Pseudonym of Rafail Abramovic Rein; born in Dvinsk, Russia 1880, died in New York 1963; had to leave Russia in 1902 because of his activities for the 'Bund'; returned in 1904; one of the leaders of the Menshevik faction of the Rossijskaja Social-Demokratičeskaja Rabočaja Partija (RSDRP); arrested in 1911 and exiled, later escaped abroad; returned to Russia in 1917; arrested in 1918 and narrowly escaped the death sentence through the intervention of Friedrich Adler and others; left Russia for Berlin in 1920; member of the Menshevik Delegation Abroad; edited Socialističeskij Vestnik with Julij Martov; delegate of the Menshevik party to the Labour and Socialist International (LSI/SAI) until 1940; emigrated to the USA; one of the organizers of the Union for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia in 1949.



Correspondence by Abramovič, partly in Yiddish, with Friedrich Adler 1929-1931, 1933-1936, Alexander Berkman 1933-1934, Fedor Dan 1933-1936, Karl Kautsky 1934-1935, Otto Leichter 1934, Emile Vandervelde 1934 and others; conference papers of and notes on meetings of the Bureau and of the Executive of the LSI 1929-1939; documents of the LSI/SAI Colonial Commission 1926-1928 and Minorities Commission 1928-1929; file relating to the attitude of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Party and of the LSI/SAI towards the pogroms in the Ukraine from 1918 to 1920, 1926-1928; file relating to the Section Française de l'Internationale Ouvrière 1933-1939; file relating to Unser Gedank c. 1931; manuscripts of articles; notes; personal documents; press clippings from the Jewish Daily Forward 1926-1932; miscellanea.

Papers of Abramovič' son Mark Rein (1909-1937): correspondence 1931-1936, Der rote Winkel. Gruppenzeitung der SAJ Berlin Westen II 1927-1929, and personal documents.

Papers of Wulf Drabkin: correspondence and personal documents 1904-1916.

Processing information

List made by Hermien van Veen in 1995, 1998

Alternate Form of Material

14 security microfilms.


The true name of Rafail A. Abramovič was Rafail Abramovič Rein. He was born in Dvinsk, Latvia, Russia, in 1880.

In 1902 he had to leave Russia because of his activities for the 'Bund', but returned in 1904. In 1906 he became a member of the Central Committee (CC) of the Rossijskaja Social-Demokratičeskaja Rabočaja Partija (RSDRP), at first as a representative of the 'Bund'. In 1911 he was arrested but escaped and fled abroad. He returned to Russia in 1917. In July 1918 he was arrested and narrowly escaped the death sentence through the intervention of prominent Bolsheviks and Friedrich Adler. He left Russia for Berlin in 1920 and was a member of the RSDRP Delegation Abroad. With Julij Martov he founded and edited the Socialističeskij Vestnik. Until 1940 he was delegate of the RSDRP to the Labour and Socialist International (LSI/SAI), serving for many years on its executive committee. In 1940 he emigrated to the USA. He died in New York in 1963.

Abramovič's son Mark Rein was born in Vilna, Lithuania, in 1909. He was active in the RSDRP Youth League and the Sozialistische Arbeiter Jugend (SAJ). He became a member of the group Neu Beginnen. In 1937 he was kidnapped and murdered in Barcelona, apparently by Spanish agents of the Soviet secret police.

The archive

In 1933 Abramovič had to leave library and archive in Berlin, fleeing from Hitler. 11 March 1935 Mark Rein wrote to the IISH on behalf of his father to thank Professor Posthumus for his efforts to rescue his father's papers. In 1936 the IISH sent to Abramovič a list of books and periodicals received (IISH archive).

It seems to be quite haphazardly which papers of Abramovič have been preserved. Folder 1 of his correspondence, e.g., contains letters from the first quarter of 1930 only, and just a few letters from the end of 1929. And virtually no correspondence of 1932 has been preserved. Part of the papers are in Yiddish, which made it too complicated to arrange all correspondence alphabetically. Correspondents include Friedrich Adler, J.W. Albarda, Alexander Berkman, G.O. Binštok, F.I. Dan, A.A. Jugov , Karl Kautsky, O. Leichter, Emile Vandervelde, and many others.

Apart from papers from Mark Rein the collection also contains some documents from the Bundist Wulf Drabkin.

In 1998 a security microfilm of the archive was completed. A list of these films has been added in an annex to this list.

11 April 2021
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01 January 1970
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