Maurice Hindus was born in a small village in Russia in 1891. In his autobiography, he describes his father as a “koolak” who was something of a contradiction to the conventional conception of that term, as it was defined after the Bolshevik Revolution: “At one time he possessed ten horses, twenty cows, many calves, geese and hens, and he was the only farmer in the village who threshed his grain not with flails but with a horse-drawn threshing machine built of heavy timbers—the sole mark of the machine age in the community. Banned because of his Jewish faith from owning land except for a house and a garden, he rented a large acreage from the noted Count Radzivill. Had he been an energetic and competent businessman with an eye for financial gain, he could have whipped a fortune out of RadzivilFs land. As it was, the count’s acres proved a stupendous liability and in the end ruined him and his family.”