Interview with Soviet Vice-president on Colonization Cabled by Billikopf
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Interview with Soviet Vice-president on Colonization Cabled by Billikopf

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A cable to the United Jewish Campaign office from Jacob Billikopf of Philadelphia, who is now in Moscow to study the Jewish colonization conditions, was made public by David A Brown, national chairman of the United Jewish Campaign.

Mr. Billikopf’s cable describes an interview with Smidoviteh, vice-president of Soviet Russia and Merezhin, head of the Yevsektzia, Jewish section of the Communist Party and the Ozet, society for the settlement of Jews on the land in Russia. The cable reads:

“Wm. Rosenwald, Stanley Folz, David Schweitzer and I interviewed Smidovitch. Tremendously impressed with sincerity and genuineness of government’s desire to help Jews agriculturally on an even larger scale. Submitted every conceivable objection raised in America. His reply unequivocal and most satisfactory. Assured the government does not object to erection of synagogues in colonies. Room for tens of thousands of additional families in fertile districts in Ukraine and Crimea.

“Read original Kalenin letter of which Smidovitch co-author. Had Duranty translated it entirely misunderstanding would not arise.

“Merezhin denied interview we published in “Jewish Tribune.”

“Interviewed at least one hundred non-partisan individuals representing different shades of opinion. Enthusiasm for colonization great. Zionists deplore opposition. Inspired by Agro-Joint work. Conservative Ica sending this year $150,000 for colonization.

“Trade school activities and 133 Kassas embracing 50,000 far reaching. Rosen Justly beloved universally.

“Leaving for colonies today.”

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