American Businessman, Back from Russia, Tells of Soviet Attitude to Jews

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

A review of the relations of the Soviet Government with the Jews in Russia, especially in connection with the movement of Jewish land settlement, was given here by Samuel Vauclain, president of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, who returned from a recent business trip to Russia where he conferred with Tchitcherin and Jewish leaders in Moscow on the situation of the Jews. In a conversation with Jacob Billikopf, at whose request Mr. Vauclain made the inquiries in Russia, he stated: “I am convinced that the Russian Government’s attitude toward the Jews of that country is a beneficent one, and that it is entirely sincere in its effort to ameliorate their condition.

“Mr. Tchitcherin told me what was perfectly obvious: that the government alone could not handle the job of transforming the Jewish merchant and trader into shop worker or farmer. The Jews outside of Russia, and particularly the Jews of America, must extend generous aid to their co-religionists. It would be well-extended aid because, with the adaption of more and more new avenues of life, opened to them in Russia, their future would be brighter.

“Tchitcherin insisted that the charge of religious discrimination is unfounded. The government was opposed to private trading, and, since the Jews, he said, form a majority of the Russian trading element, the situation bears most heavily upon them. But there is no discrimination against the Jews as Jews. That, said Tchitcherin, ceased with the fall of the Czar.

“Far from discriminating against the Jews as such, the Government, Tchitcherin said, is doing all in its power to assist them to join the productive, creative, and laboring elements of the land, which have the full rights of citizens of the first class,” Mr. Vauclain declared.

NEXT STORY