Veĭdle, V., 1895-1979.Alternative names
Mark Efimovich Weinbaum (otherwise transliterated Veinbaum), the prominent journalist, philanthropist, and editor in chief of Novoe Russkoe Slovo, was born in the provincial town of Proskurov, in Russia, on October 20, 1890, into a well-off, intellectual family. His father was a lawyer and a journalist. Weinbaum graduated from the School of Commerce in 1913 and travelled to the United States, arriving in New York in December. He planned to stay for six months before going on to the university and had intended to follow in his father's footsteps and study law. The outbreak of World War I and the subsequent revolutionary events in Russia prevented his return. He remained in New York, where he attended City College and New York University. He started to work for Russkoe Slovo, then under the editorship of I. K. Okuntsev, in 1914.
The bi-weekly newspaper, founded in 1910, had a tiny readership among the population of pre-revolutionary Russian immigrants. With the outbreak of war, circulation rose dramatically and the frequency of publication increased to six times a week. A Sunday edition was added later.
Weinbaum left in 1917 in order to found along with Okuntsev and his assistant, I. H. Veruiushchii, his own newspaper, Russkii Golos . However, he returned in 1922, when disagreements over editorial policy in Russkii golos made it impossible for him to continue as its editor. The paper subsequently became Communist. Russkoe slovo, on the other hand, had since 1920 been under the sole direction of Victor Shimkin who renamed it Novoe Russkoe Slovo, and established it on a democratic platform. He asked Weinbaum to come back initially as manager, then co-editor and partner. He became editor in chief in 1925 and he remained in that position until his death.
In addition to editorial work, Weinbaum contributed regularly to the paper, writing historical articles, essays, and political commentary under the heading "Na raznye temy" (On Various Themes). He also wrote for such English language publications as The Nation and The New Republic, as well as The Sun, The Globe, and the Herald Tribune . He was a member of the Overseas Press Club, the Academy of Political Science, and the Film Critics Circle of the Foreign Language Press. He was also president of the Literary Fund, a philanthropic organization that provided emergency aid and support to Russian émigré writers, artists, musicians, and scientists in extreme need, both in the United States and overseas. The Literary Fund at times rescued Ivan Bunin and later his widow, Aleksei Remizov, Boris Zaitsev, and many others. Weinbaum also helped immigrants by acting as an advovate for displaced persons seeking to escape repatriation following World War II and interceding for immigrants facing deportation during the McCarthy era. There were several cases in which he was instrumental in saving illegal immigrants from being sent back to face Soviet prison camps.
After World War II, the center of Russian émigré life shifted from Paris to the United States. Novoe Russkoe Slovo, under the editorship of Weinbaum, along with the quarterly literary magazine Novyi Zhurnal, gave expression to this life, becoming the primary newspaper of the Russian diaspora, and drawing to itself the majority of the more talented émigré writers and publicists. Among contributors to the paper were Ekaterina Kuskova, Mark Aldanov, Aleksei Remizov, and Nadezhda Teffi. The paper also published invaluable reports and articles by "new" immigrants on the reality of Soviet concentration camps and of life behind the Iron Curtain, providing information which was inaccesible to the West until the influx of post-war refugees.
In his capacity as editor in chief, as well as in his work for the Literary Fund, Mark Weinbaum knew and corresponded with many of the most important figures in the Russian immigration. Among his close friends were Ivan Bunin, Mark Aldanov, Boris Zaitsev, Aleksei Remizov, Savelii Sorin, Serge Koussevitsky, and Marc Chagall.
Mark Weinbaum died on March 19, 1973, in New York, at the age of eighty two. With his archive, Yale received an oil portrait of Weinbaum by the artist Kira Syriabina, which now hangs in the Slavic Reading Room at Sterling Memorial Library. Bibliography Andreev, Nikolai. "Ob osobennostiakh i osnovnykh etapakh razvitiia russkoi literatury za rubezhom." In Russkaia literatura v emigratsii, edited by N.P. Poltoratskii. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 1972. Struve, Gleb. Russkaia literatura v izgnanii . Paris: YMCA Press, 1984. Weinbaum, Mark. Na raznye temy . New York: Novoye Russkoye Slovo, 1956. Weinbaum, Rose. "Notes about Mark Weinbaum." Mark Weinbaum Papers, GEN MSS 106, Box 14, folder 602.
From the guide to the Mark Weinbaum papers, 1896-1973, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)
- Political refugees--Soviet Union
- World War, 1939-1945--Refugees
- Authors, Russian--20th century
- Russians--United States
- Russian newspapers
- Authors, Exiled
- Intellectuals--Soviet Union