The BUND -
Utopia for Real

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A half-hour TV documentary

Languages spoken: English, Dutch, Yiddish, Hebrew
Dutch, English and Hebrew versions are now available
 
The world in the last 100 years or so has gone through tremendous changes. One of them is that most people today no longer believe that they can change the world, though the world is still in a grave need of a change.

This story begins 100 years ago with 13 people who did believe that they can change the condition of Man and to better the world. And they did.

Could they serve as a role model to the culture of change that is sadly lacking today?

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The secret Jewish workers' movement, the Bund, started in November 1897 in a small shack in the Russian Tsarist town of Vilna. From 13 men it had grown within a few years into an open and proud world-wide organization with hundreds of thousands men and women in East and West Europe, including Holland, in Central, South and North America and even in Australia. Together with non-Jewish workers' organizations which were emerging all over the world, they fought for workers' rights and for humane social conditions.

It was a dark period, ruled by corrupt networks of royalty and aristocracy. The workers at that time, mostly illiterate, were nothing more than slaves. For mere survival they had to work 18 hours a day, mostly 7 days a week, from the age of 6 or 7.

Jewish workers shared the same fate of the other workers. But on top of it they got their own share of prejudice and hatred. Periodically, as the rulers were trying to vent the poor peoples' unrest away from themselves, the Jews were killed and expelled. And the Jewish rabbis, the religious leaders, were often siding with the authorities.

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