Berlin (Feb. 29)
Dr. Joseph Rosen, the head of the Agrojoint in Russia, who is now in Berlin, made the following statement to-day in the course of a conference with Jewish press representatives here, with regard to the work of the Agrojoint:
The J.T.A. report circulated recently (given in the J.T.A. Bulletin of Feb. 17th.) with regard to a certain reconstruction and change in the work of the Agrojoint in Russia, has, unfortunately, been understood by world Jewry as if these measures were a negative appearance, constituting the surrender of certain achievements and positions. Actually, however, it is thoroughly positive and gratifying.
The Soviet Government is honestly desirous of adapting the Jewish population to the conditions of life of the post-revolutionary period. It has made this the tack of the State, and is gradually bringing considerable masses of Jews into agriculture, industry, transport, State service, etc. The Soviet Government, as is known, has allocated to an increasing extent State funds for Jewish settlement. It is making it an unconditional duty of all State organs to collaborate in this process, so that the work of the foreign organisations who have a great share in this revolutionising of the economic structure of Russian Jewry can now diminish their work. We hope that the time will come when the collaboration of these foreign bodies in the work of settling the Jewish population in Russia in agriculture and industry will no longer have the significance which they still have to-day.
For these reasons the Agrojoint started already in 1931 to prepare the ground systematically, so that when its agreement with the Government of the Soviet Union terminates, the work can be continued through the local State organs, without any upheavals. These are the motives for which the Agrojoint is gradually giving up its activity in the field of agriculture in the Crimea and leaving it to the State tractor organisation, and also suspending the further erection of houses for settlers and of public buildings.
The facts were correctly reported by the J.T.A., Dr. Rosen said, but the Jewish press has been making wrong commentaries on these facts. We have always endeavoured to create such conditions, Dr. Rosen concluded, that our activity in the Soviet Union should gradually pass to the State, and that the State should itself continue this very great and historic work on behalf of Russian Jewry. That is the direction of our activity, and the sooner this aim is attained the better.