Adolf (Abraham) Berman (17.10.1906–03.02.1978)

psychologist, PhD in philosophy, Zionist social and political activist, pioneer of career counseling in the interwar period

Berman started his social and political activity while still a student. He was a member of the Jewish Socialist Workers Youth ‘Młodość’, and then of Poalei Zion-Lewica. During the war, he was the director of Centos, he established boarding schools for children in the Warsaw ghetto. He was one of the founders of the Antifascist Bloc in the Warsaw Ghetto, and co-editor of its mouthpiece, Der Ruf (Zew). He was a member of the presidium of the Jewish National Committee, which he represented to the Polish underground, and as its representative he joined the presidium of the Council to Aid Jews, known as Żegota. After the ‘Great Liquidation Action’ he hid on the ‘Aryan’ side. During the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, he was a signatory to the dispatch to Szmul Zygielbojm, the Bund representative in the National Council in London. He was the author of the pamphlet of the ŻKN pamphlet ‘Głos z otchłani’ (‘Voice from the Abyss’), published in July 1944. He took part in the Warsaw Uprising, including as a member of the Political Council of the People’s Army in Żoliborz.

After the war, from 1947 he was the chairman of the Central Committee of Jews in Poland (CKŻP). From 1947, chairman of the United Jewish Socialist Workers’ Party ‘Poalei Zion’ in Poland. In 1949 he was expelled from the CKŻP, and he emigrated to Israel the following year, where he joined the Mapam United Socialist Party of Israel. From 1951, he was a member of the Knesset. In 1954 he joined the Communist Party of Israel. He was the author of ‘On the Division and Subject of Social Psychology’ (1932) and Diaries (1978). He died in Tel Aviv in 1978.

translated by Adam Grossman