||History of Lithuania by Simon Dubnow (1860–1941), historian and political ideologist. Born in Mstislavl, Belorussia, Dubnow received a traditional Jewish education from his grandfather, but early in his life ceased to observe religious practices. He was self-taught, having achieved his general education at "the home university," as he put it. Between 1880 and 1906 Dubnow lived, first illegally, in St. Petersburg; in his home town; in Odessa, where he joined the Ahad Ha-Am circle; and Vilna, writing all the time for the Jewish press. He finally settled in St. Petersburg, this time legally, teaching Jewish history, which from then on became his dominating interest; from 1908 at the Institute of Jewish Studies (established by Baron David Guenzburg); and from 1919 at the government-supported "Jewish People's University." Dubnow was one of the founders and directors of the Jewish Historico-Ethnographical Society and from 1909 to 1918 editor of its quarterly Yevreyskaya Starina. When the Bolsheviks came to power, Dubnow was asked to participate in the work of various committees appointed to prepare publications on Jewish themes; none of this work was ever published.
In 1922 he left Russia. A proposal for him to become professor of Jewish history at the University of Kovno met with the opposition of the Lithuanian professors, and Dubnow settled in Berlin, where he stayed until 1933. When Hitler came to power, Dubnow found refuge in Riga, the capital of Latvia. There the aged scholar continued his work in solitude, but with undiminished vigor. Riga was captured by the Germans in July 1941, and in a night of terror, on December 8, 1941, when the Jewish community was deported to a death camp, Dubnow was murdered by a Gestapo officer, a former pupil of his.