„Scopes Monkey Trial and the pamphlet by the Soviet Darwinist

What do Tennessee, Leszno St. and the supporter of the theory of evolution from Soviet Union have in common?

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„Literarisze Bleter” 1925, nr 66, s. 2  /  Centralna Biblioteka Judaistyczna

Amidst the turmoil caused by The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes, commonly referred as „Scopes Monkey Trial” [Yidish: malpes-proces], B. Kleckin publishing house offered purchasing and recommending reading the popular pamphlet (by the renowned Darwinist, prof. W. A. Taliyev) titled „Charles Darwin” „wos hot er ojfgeton far der menszhejt” (what he did for the mankind). Shipping cost: 50 groszys. Money can be transferred through PKO, Warsaw, 36 Leszno St., Publ. B. Kleckin.

Valeri Ivanovitch Taliyev (1872–1932) was a Soviet botanist and botanist-geographer, researcher of Crimea’s flora, dealt with the evolution theory, plant biology and environment protection; was the author of coursebooks and popular science books. The trial, however, which became famous under the name of „Scopes Monkey Trial” took place in 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee. High school teacher, John Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee’s Butler Act, which made it unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school. It was an action deliberately staged by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which counted on losing the case in the first instance. The intended appeal would make the cause widely publicized in all of the United States and in consequence be brought to the Supreme Court which would have to decide whether the Tennessee’s Butler Act was constitutional. 

Scopes was found guilty and fined $100, but the verdict was eventually  overturned on a technicality. The trial served its purpose of drawing intense national publicity, as national reporters flocked to Dayton to cover the big-name lawyers who had agreed to represent each side. William Jennings Bryan, three-time presidential candidate, argued for the prosecution, while Clarence Darrow, the famed defense attorney, spoke for Scopes. 

Publish the translation of the pamphlet by the Russian evolutionist proves that Jews were interested in what was going on in big wide world, that easily accessible popular science literature in Yiddish was available for them as well as that the readers of „Literarisze Bleter  

Publikacja przekładu książeczki radzieckiego ewolucjonisty stanowi dowód zainteresowania Żydów wydarzeniami na świecie, istnienia taniej literatury popularnonaukowej w jidysz oraz tego, że czytelnicy „Literarishe Bletter” were potentially interested in publications of this nature. 

This and other interesting stories from the pre-war Yiddish press can be found in the second part of the collection of clippings prepared by our researchers. Have a great read! 

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