Library Archive Museum


Bramson Leon

Political and public figure, historian, publicist. After graduating from the Law Faculty of Moscow University, he worked for the OPE (Society for the Spreading of Education among the Jews in Russia), the EKO (Jewish Colonisation Association) and a number of other Jewish public organisations. In 1906 he was elected to the First State Duma from Koveno province. In the Duma he joined the Trudoviki or ‘Labour group’, a union of democratically-minded peasant deputies and narodniki or populist intellectuals. In 1909 Bramson was one of the leaders of ORT in Russia, and in 1911 became its executive director. Following the 1917 February Revolution, A. Kerensky offered him the post of Minister of Justice in the Provisional Government, and although he declined this offer, he took an active part in the drafting of the law regarding equal rights for Jews which was passed in March 1917. After the 1917 October Revolution he was an uncompromising opponent of the Bolshevik regime, for which he was put on trial and sentenced to ‘public censure’. In 1920, as a member of the foreign delegation of ORT, founded with the aim of collecting funds for the assistance of Jews who had suffered in the Civil War, Bramson left Russia. In August 1921 in Berlin, the World ORT Union was founded under his leadership. From 1923 to 1941 Bramson was the president of this international organisation. On behalf of ORT and its associated humanitarian organisation the OSE (Society for Jewish Public Health), Bramson visited many countries, including India, South Africa and Australia, where he took part in organizing ORT committees and mass campaigns of support.