Szymon Dickstein

Dickstein, Szymon


(also S. Dicksztajn, pseudonym of Jan Młot). Born Feb. 8, 1858, in Warsaw; died July 6, 1884, in Bern. Active in the Polish socialist movement. Son of a merchant.

Dickstein graduated from the department of natural sciences at the University of Warsaw in 1878. In 1877–78 he was active in the first Polish socialist circles. During this period he translated into Polish Marx’ Kapital, Engels’ Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, and a number of works by C. Darwin and H. Spencer. To escape police persecution Dickstein emigrated to Switzerland in 1878 and afterward lived in France. Toward the end of the 1870’s he came under the influence of anarchism. Between 1879 and 1881, Dickstein was a member of the Polish socialist group Równćsś (Equality), and in 1882 he joined the party Proletariat I. From 1879 to 1884 he participated in the publication of the Polish socialist journals Równość, Przedswit, and Walka Klas. Dickstein worked with leadens of the Russian revolutionary movement, including G. V. Plekhanov, V. I. Zasulich, L. G. Deutsch, and P. L. Lavrov. In 1881 he published the pamphlet What Man Lives By, one of the best expositions of the first volume of Das Kapital. The pamphlet was later translated into many languages (Russian translation, 1885; with a preface by G. V. Plekhanov) and was important in the dissemination of ideas of socialism and class struggle among workers.