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3,000 Young Jews Will Be Enlisted for Work in Coal Mines of the Donetz Basin

A great campaign to enlist 3,000 young Jews for work in the coal mines of the Donetz Basin in Ukrainia, the largest coal field in the Soviet Union, has been started on the initiative of the Shtern, the Yiddish newspaper published in Charkov, Ukrainia, in order to right the failure of the coal industry to live up to the program laid down for it in the Five Year Plan, a failure largely due to a scarcity of workers.

The campaign had encountered much resistance in certain quarters where it was argued against it that there have been failures to live up to the Five Year Plan’s schedule not only on the “coal front” but also on other “fronts,” and if young Jews are to be enlisted for all the “fronts” there will not be enough of them to go round, and it will only mean the disruption of the work of the Comzet. It was also claimed that the young Jews are incapable of the physical work demanded in the coal mines.

All of these arguments, however, were declared to be opportunistic at a special conference held to consider the question, and the Jewish enlistment campaign was approved. Among the economic and social organizations that are participating in the campaign is the Young Communist League which instructed its branches throughout the Union to include at least 1,000 young Jewish Communists among the 15,000 young Communists who are to be mobilized for the work in the coal mines of the Donetz Basin.

This 1,000 will be counted as part of the 3,000 young Jews who are to be mobilized among the entire Jewish working class youth. Party discipline will make it an easy matter to obtain the 1,000 young Jewish Communists, it is pointed out, but it is less likely that the 2,000 non-Communist Jews will be found to agree voluntarily to go into the coal mines, both because of the hard physical labor entailed, and also because of the hard conditions of life to which the new-comers in the coal mines must submit.

Instructions are being sent to the workers of the coal miners’ unions in the Donetz Basin that they are to give a friendly reception to the Jewish youths arriving in the coal mines, the administrator of the All-Ukrainian Miners’ Union announced. This assurance is regarded as of great importance because there have been cases of new Jewish arrivals in the coal mines being met with hostility by the non-Jewish workers. In some instances there has even been undisguised anti-Semitic agitation aiming to force the Jewish youths out of the mines, and many young Jews who went into the mines have actually left on this account.

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