Kashtan, Dave

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Kashtan, Dave

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  • Kasten, Dave

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Dave Kashtan was born in Montreal in 1912. His parents, Dasha and Solomon Kashtan were born in Ukraine. Fleeing tsarist antisemitic oppression, they settled in the Mile End neighbourhood in Montreal where his father worked as a labourer, and later opened a small grocery store. He left school at age 13. He became interested in Communism at a young age through the influence of his brother Bill, who later led the Communist Party of Canada. Dave joined the orchestra of the Young Pioneer Club, playing the mandolin. He briefly found work as a steamfitter, until he was compelled to leave the trade due to his health. In 1929, he was appointed organizer of the YCL. On 19 January 1931, the Montreal Council of Unemployed held a meeting at the Labour Temple; the meeting was raided and its five speakers, including Dave and Fred Rose, were charged with sedition. Dave was sentenced to one year imprisonment at the Bordeaux Jail. Dave was also an active member of the Workers Sports Association of Canada and was appointed national secretary. In 1938, he was appointed national secretary of the Young Communist League. During the 1953 Canadian Federal Election, Dave ran unsuccessfully for the York Centre riding, as a member of the Labor-Progressive Party. He left the Party in 1960.

Dave was the husband of Rose (Eizenstraus) Kashtan.


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C. Long, 2021.




Niergarth, K. (2005). Fight for Life: Dave Kashtan’s Memories of Depression-Era Communist Youth Work. Labour / Le Travail, 56, 199-236. Retrieved from http://www.lltjournal.ca/index.php/llt/article/view/5385

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