The address delivered by President Kalinin of Soviet Russia to a delegation of Moscow workers and writers concerning Biro-Bidjan is a remarkable document.
“In the Soviet Union there are about three million Jews, but thus far there has been no Jewish state unit,” he said. “The development of a Jewish autonomous region is creating a sound foundation for the Jewish nationality.
“I consider Biro-Bidjan from the viewpoint of great perspectives. By the fact of the establishment of a Jewish autonomous region the Jewish people becomes consolidated and acquires all the signs of a nation. The creation of the Jewish autonomous region opens up opportunities for the further growth of Jewish culture, national in form, socialistic in content. Personally I believe that in about ten years hence Biro-Bidjan will be the fundamental culture-center of the Jewish working masses.”
Whatever the prospects of Biro-Bidjan as an autonomous Jewish region may be, there is no doubt that the Soviet government’s decision with regard to that region is of momentous significance and importance. President Kalinin’s address, from which we quoted the opening paragraphs is a unique declaration. No other head of a government in modern times has spoken as sympathetically of the Jewish nationality and of Jewish culture as the President of the Soviet Union has spoken.
Palestine is in no way affected by the Biro-Bidjan scheme.
“Putzy” Hanfstaengl, the Hitler lieutenant and chief of the foreign press bureau in Berlin, now on a visit at Harvard University, when asked by a reporter for his views on the Jewish question in Germany, replied:
“I do not think it is good to discuss that question. It doesn’t help Germany and it doesn’t help the Jews. But I will say this. The Jew’s situation in Germany is going to be normal before long.”
And when he was asked if he was conscious of any feeling against him among Americans because of his government’s anti-Jewish policy, Hanfstaengl answered:
“Americans are like children. You cannot please all of them all the time. Americans are like children in that they are good, too. And they are like children in that you can’t fool them. But I didn’t come to fool anybody. I came to fool around there’s a great difference, you know.”
Hanfstaengl’s assurance to the press that “the Jew’s situation in Germany is going to be normal before long” may be construed as an admission that Hitler has seen and felt the error