Boris Sapir

Boris Moiseevič Sapir (1902-1989) was born in Lódz and moved to Moscow in 1914. In 1919 he joined the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party (Mensheviks) and co-founded the Moscow social-democratic youth movement. Between 1921 and 1925 he was repeatedly arrested, imprisoned and exiled. He spent over two years in Solovki, the infamous GULAG camp on the Solovetskiye islands in the White Sea. In 1925 he fled abroad. He studied law and obtained a PhD in Heidelberg, Germany, and joined the Menshevik movement in exile.

Following Hitler's seizure of power he settled in the Netherlands. He was involved with the IISH from its very beginnings and became the head of its Eastern Europe Department in 1936. When World War II broke out, Sapir was forced to leave the country. After living in the United States for many years, he returned to the Netherlands in 1967. He resumed his duties at the IISH, where he remained until shortly before his death in 1989. He was the author of many publications about Russian social democracy, including source publications about the Narodniki journal Vpered!, Petr Lavrov and Fedor and Lidia Dan. He edited the Sotsialisticheskii Vestnik for many years.