(pseudonym of lulii Osipovich Tsederbaum). Born Nov. 24, 1873, in Constantinople; died Apr. 4, 1923, in Berlin. Russian Social Democrat, one of the leaders of Menshevism. The son of a merchant.
Martov joined a revolutionary circle while a student at St. Petersburg University. In 1892 he was arrested and exiled to Vil’no (now Vilnius). In 1895 he helped found the St. Petersburg Union of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class. In 1896 he was arrested and exiled to Turukhansk, Enisei Province. In 1899 he supported V. I. Lenin’s “A Protest by Russian Social Democrats,” which Lenin had written as a polemic against Economism. In 1900, Martov joined the group that organized the publication of Iskra. In 1901 he emigrated and became one of the editors of Iskra and Zaria. At the Second Congress of the RSDLP in 1903 he spoke against Lenin’s plan for organizing the party structure. In 1905, Martov was a member of the St. Petersburg Soviet. He emigrated in 1907. He was a delegate to the Fifth (London) Congress of the RSDLP. During the reactionary period 1908-10, he was a Liquidator. In 1912 he took part in the organization of the August Antiparty Bloc.
During World War I, Martov was a centrist. He participated in the Zimmerwald (1915) and Kienthal (1916) conferences. After returning to Russia in 1917, he was among the “leftists” in the Menshevik Party. At the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets, he offered the conciliatory proposal that a government be formed embracing all socialist parties. After the victory of the October Revolution of 1917, he opposed the arrest of participants in counterrevolutionary plots, the closing of reactionary bourgeois newspapers, and the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly. He was a delegate (from the Menshevik Party) to the Seventh All-Russian Congress of Soviets in 1919 and was elected a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee. From 1919 to 1920 he was a deputy in the Moscow soviet. In September 1920 he emigrated. He was one of the organizers of the Second-and-a-Half International. Martov founded and edited Sotsialisticheskii vestnik, the anticommunist organ of the Mensheviks. He wrote and edited a number of works on the history of the Social Democratic movement in Russia; these works reflected his abandonment of revolutionary Marxism.
R. A. LAVROV