Jewish Colonization in Crimea Discussed by Berlin “ort”

That the Soviet Government is ready to grant free land and reduced taxes to settlers in South Russia and the Crimea, but will not extend any financial support, is the information contained in a statement issued today by the Berlin headquarters of the “Ort,” the Russian-Jewish organization for the promotion of agriculture and trades among the Jewish people, to the correspondent of the J.T.A.

Defining its own position on the matter of an autonomous Jewish region in the Crimea, the statement says that the “Ort” has no connection with any plan for the establishment of such an autonomous region in Russia, nor is it mixed up in any of the political tendencies ascribed to that plan. It considers that to impose political aims upon the colonization work would only damage and hinder the work of reconstruction. Its own aim is merely to introduce productive work among the Jewish masses in Russia.

The economic position of the Jews in Russia and the Ukraine is continually growing worse and is heading for a catastrophe. There is, therefore, a natural tendency on the part of the Jews to settle on the land. There are now many new farms in various parts of Russia, particularly in South Ukrainia, and they are very successful. For that reason the “Ort” is in favor of agricultural settlements on a large scale. Since it is impossible to settle the Jewish farms in the present agricultural districts of White Russia and the Ukraine, it favors having these settlements in South Russia and the Crimea.

Since the Russian Government will not extend any financial support to the agriculturists, the “Ort,” through the proposed “Reconstruction Fund,” will devote itself to that purpose. It estimates that it would be easily possible to settle, in South Russia, 10,000 Jewish families within the next ten years.

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