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Exact Situation in Jewish Colonies in Russia Described by Dr. Rosen Following Tour

The exact situation in the Jewish colonies is set torth in a cable released yesterday by David A. Brown, National Chairman of the United Jewish Campaign. The cable, coming from Dr. Joseph A. Rosen, director of the Agro-Joint, the agency of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, states:

“Just completed extended trip all our colonization districts, situation as follows: Krivoy Rog district crops fair to good approximating ninety percent. Ica and Ort colonies adjoining Krivoy Rog district about the same. Crimea fair to excellent. Only area badly affected Cherson district where complete crop failure taken place. This is true of entire farming population this section due entirely to severe prolonged winter lack of rains early summer. Late rains somewhat improving forage situation. About three thousand families our settlers affected various degrees. Government supplying seed all farmers this district and particulary our settlers. Farmers obligate themselves to sell government from next crop quantity of grain double quantity seed received. Balance crop their free disposal. These terms very favorable our settlers. Government, Agrojont, Ica, Ort cooperating. Adopting various measures relieve situation, heaviest part expenses to be borne by government.”

In releasing the cable, Mr. Brown made the following statement:

“The cable from Mr. Rosen, who is the only man in Russia qualified to speak authoritatively on the situation in the Jewish colonies, came as an answer to an inquiry of ours which we were forced to make because of the numberless news items that have appeared about conditions in the colonies. Since early spring we have been aware of the fact that owing to the severe winter some of our colonies in the Cherson district had a poor crop outlook, but we knew that Dr. Rosen, in cooperation with the government and other organization with the government and other organizations working in Russia, has been taking the necessary steps to relieve conditions. The reports, however, pouring into the press of this country–English, Anglo-Jewish, and Yiddish–from all parts of Europe–Berlin, Warsaw, Paris. Riga–have during these last several months continually been depicting the situation in the colonies in catastrophic colors, showing a clear tendency to disturb the minds of our people here in regard to the entire outlook of the colonization work.

“Dr. Rosen in his present cable brings the true state of affairs before us and does away with all the irresponsible rumors that have been circulating, just as he has done on many previous occasions, especially in the course of the last three of four months.

“Only a short while ago the Chicago Tribune carried a front-page story dated ‘Warsaw’, alleging a pogrom in the Rosenwald Colony in the Crimea: “Twen-two-two Jewish farmers in colony near Simferopol were killed in pogrom made by hundreds of peasants who were enraged by land grants and news of Rosenwald’s contribution. Also many Jewish homes were burned down.’

“Our cable to Moscow brought back an authoritative statement that there had been no disturbance of any kind in the Rosenwald Colony in the Crimea, and that everything was normal.

“In July a story was broadcast that Jews desiring settlement on the land hereafter will not be settled in Jewish colonies but among the peasants, according to a decision of the governmental Commission in the Ukraine. Cable from Dr. Rosen in answer to this stated: ‘No such official decision taken anywhere. Government policy settling Jews compact groups unchanged.’

“It is very evident that there are forces in Europe fundamentally opposed to the Russian colonization movement, who magnify every incident that may take place in the colonies. A case of assault and battery becomes a pogrom; a shortage in crop becomes a complete crop failure; the wish that the Jews shall be settled individually among the peasants as against the present form of settlement becomes a governmental decree.

“The work of colonization presents terrific problems which constantly take all of our resources and our energy to solve without being compelled continously to use our time, effort, and our money investigating and denying these numberless rumors sent in to the American Press. The work that we are engaged in is in no sense political. It is purely humanitarian. There is agreement generally by the Jews of the world that it is one of the main solutions to the economic and social problem of the Jews of Russia, and all forces, whether in agreement or not, should lend themselves in a helpful way so that our work may be easier and our accomplishment greater,” Mr. Brown concluded.

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