Moscow (Feb. 15)
Jewish life in Soviet Russia will be totally changed at the end of “Pyatiletka,” the five-year plan of socialization and industrialization, Z. Mindlin, Soviet statistician, assured the Ort Economic Conference. He declared that in 1933 there will be only 35,000 unemployed Jews instead of the 110,000 at present. Mindlin also stated that the number of Jewish workers will increase by 186,000 over the 1928 figures and reach 350,000.
Other statistics that he presented showed that the number of Jewish employes will reach 400,000, with an increase of 55 percent over the present number and the Jewish kustars will grow 23 percent to reach 269,000, while Jewish land workers will be increased 70 percent, thus totalling 170,000. Jewish traders and members of the so-called free professions will be totally wiped out, while those subsisting on non-laboring earnings will be decreased 30 percent.
Mindlin explained that these figures are the result of four months’ work done by special economic experts. He emphasized that, as seen from these figures, practically the entire Jewish population will be laborized at the end of the five-year plan.
His optimistic figures were, however, disputed by Yezekiel Grower of the Agro-Joint, by the active Ozet leader and agronomist Baturinsky, and also by A. Bragin. Grower declared that he sees not Jewish economic reconstruction but a Jewish economic funeral. He pointed out that during the last six months even the Jewish kustars have become declassed, and he expressed the opinion that collectivization was contributing much toward the ruin of the Jews in the small towns and he concluded that the only way to improve the economic condition of the Jews is to reinstate in his election rights every Jew who has been deprived of them. Without such reinstatement, he said, even the new generation of Jews is growing up without rights and with no economic prospects.
Grower’s pessimistic views were supported by Baturinsky, Bragin, and others.