Bitner, Vilgelm

Bitner, Vil’gel’m Kazimir Vil’gel’movich


Born Feb. 21 (Mar. 5), 1865, in Kovno; died Apr. 24, 1921, in Petrograd. Russian journalist, popularizer of scientific knowledge.

In the 1880’s, Bitner began his career as a publicist and also as a literary science writer. Beginning in 1900 he worked on the staff of the journal Nauchnoe obozrenie. He was the author of a two-volume survey of 19th-century scientific achievements, “On the Boundary Between Centuries” (1901–03). During the years 1903–18 he was editor and publisher of Vestnik znaniia, which was intended for self-education; in it he published the popular “Discussions With the Readers,” which dealt with social and moral problems, and conducted propaganda for the natural sciences. In articles on literature and art he defended realistic and democratic trends. In serial supplements to the journal, Bitner published “The Holy Family” by K. Marx and F. Engels; works by A. Bebel, C. Darwin, and C. Flammarion; lectures by V.M. Bekhterev; “Secrets of the Moon” by N. A. Morozov; the Great People series; and works by L. N. Tolstoy that were banned by the censors.


Rubakin, N. “Po povodu iubileia Vestnika znaniia.” In Nedelia “Vestnika znaniia,” 1913, no. 1.
Desiat’ let kul’turnoi raboty zhurnala “Vestnika znaniia.” St. Petersburg, 1913.
Ermakova-Bitner,G. V. “Prosvetitel’-demokrat.” In Zvezda, 1965, no. 3.