Moscow (May. 8)
J. T. A. Mall Service
It is high time for the Soviet Government to do something to assist the Jews in the small towns which are stagnating and dying, not only by promoting agricultural colonization but also by promoting industrialization, said A. Bragin, a prominent worker in the Jewish colonization movement, speaking at the annual meeting of the Ozet in Moscow yesterday. Over 2,000 members of the Ozet were present at the meeting.
The Jewish small town, Mr. Bragin said, is in a state of decay. Not only the declassed Jews but the Jewish artisans as well are unemployed. Eighty percent. of the Jewish artisans have no work. They are in a terrible position. Colonization alone is not able to help the two million Jews of the Soviet countries who have been economically ruined. They must be assisted by the promotion of industrialization as well. Factories must be established in and around the Jewish towns in which the Jews should be able to obtain work. The factories should be adapted to the Jewish branches of trade, especially the tailoring industry. These factories could produce ready-made clothing, shoes and other articles to which the Jewish workers can adapt themselves. Until now, he said, the Soviet Government has done nothing in the direction of industrializing the Jewish masses in the small towns.
With regard to the Jewish colonization in the Bureya region in Siberia, Mr. Bragin said that the sum of one million ? which the Government has allocated for the Jewish colonization work in Bureya is like a drop in the ocean in comparison with the amount of money which is needed to develop the Bureya region and to make it a place of settlement.
Mr. Bragin’s speech caused a great deal of feeling at the meeting. Mr. Zwi Fridland and other Communist speakers replied to him angrily and frequently Mr. Bragin was interrupted in the course of his speech by the Communists and was applauded by the non-partisans.