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Soviets Abandon Plan for Jewish Republic in Bira Bidjan; Colonization to Go on

The proposed plan of a Jewish republic in Bira Bidjan, Far Eastern Republic, has apparently been given up in leading Soviet circles but the colonization of Bira Bidjan will form part of a general scheme of settlement and cultivation in the Far Eastern area of the Soviet Union it is revealed in the resolutions of the recent plenary session of the Ozet, society for settling the Jews on the land, that have just been published.

WORK JUSTIFIED

The Ozet’s resolutions point out that the work in Bira Bidjan in the last few years has fully justified the colonization scheme for the region, but emphasize the unsatisfactory tempo of the work which must be intensified. The Ozet says that the future methods and forms of activities in Bira Bidjan must aim at the development not only of agriculture but the entire economic sphere.

After pointing to the great defects in the management of Bira Bidjan in the past, the Ozet resolved to adopt the recently announced recommendations of the special investigating commission of the land commissariat and also the suggestions of the Ozet’s revisory committee in order to prevent mistakes in the future. Immigration to Bira Bidjan in the future will be aimed chiefly at attracting Jewish immigrants into the general Soviet collectives and industrial undertakings. In the neighborhood of these general undertakings there will be concentrated the Jewish collectives, the workers’ settlements, the artisans’ guilds, all of which should be, according to the Ozet, financially and organizationally amalgamated with the general collectives.

WELCOMES DECISION

The Ozet also welcomed the decision of the Far Eastern executive committee to separate Bira Bidjan into an independent administrative district which will include all the sections allocated for Jewish colonization. Measures to realize the decision of the Soviet government for the creation of a separate economic body to direct the entire work in Bira Bidjan will also be taken by the Ozet.

Indications that the plan of a Jewish Republic in Bira Bidjan had been abandoned have become frequent of late, the most recent being the suggestion of an investigation commission of the land commissariat that the colonization work in Bira Bidjan be transferred from the Ozet and the Comzet to the land commissariat.

NAME SPECIAL GOVERNMENT COMMISSION

The vitiation of the scheme began last January with the appointment of a special government commission to build up Bira Bidjan and to colonize it. The commission, being composed of representatives of the different government trusts was primarily interested in Bira Bidjan from the commercial point of view and Jewish interests played a secondary role.

In recent months the management of Bira Bidjan, where in 1927 Michael Kalinin proclaimed the Soviet’s intention of establishing a Jewish republic, has been under continual fire. The Comzet and the Ozet, charged with the administration of Bira Bidjan, have been subjected to severe criticism and a number of investigating commissions have turned in reports condemning the work in Bira Bidjan.

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