Kalinin Asks Biro Republic in 5-8 Years

The Soviet Government desires to see a Jewish Socialist republic in Biro-Bidjan within the next five or, at most, eight years, Michael Kalinin, President of the Soviet Union, told Joseph Liberberg, newly appointed head of the organization committee for Biro-Bidjan.

Liberberg reported President Kalinin’s statement to him at a banquet given here today in his honor by the Moscow Yiddish daily, Emess, prior to his departure for Biro-Bidjan.

“We will call your work in Biro-Bidjan a success only if you accomplish the transformation of the Jewish autonomous area into a Jewish Socialist republic in the next five to eight years,” President Kalinin was quoted as saying.

Semyon Diamanstein, head of the OZET, official Soviet organization for settling Jews on the land, also spoke at the dinner for Liberberg. He urged that Biro-Bidjan be made attractive for prospective Jewish settlers.

A plan for the immediate erection of thousands of dwellings for Jewish settlers in the autonomous area was outlined by Liberberg.

The new chief executive for Biro-Bidjan is a veteran of the civil war in Russia and is noted as the historian of the East European Jewish working class movement.

HAD VARIED CAREER

He was born in Vollhyn in 1899. In 1917, while a student in the University of Kiev, he joined the Red Army. He distinguished himself in the bloody fighting between the Reds and Whites and was rapidly promoted.

In 1922 he was appointed lecturer in history in the higher military academy. He left the Red Army in 1924 and began to devote himself to historical studies. He was a member of a number of scientific missions which were dispatched to other countries by the Soviet Government.

Since 1927 he has been head of the Jewish cultural division of the Ukrainian Academy of Knowledge. Under his direction the department became so important that it was transformed into a Jewish Cultural Institute for the entire Soviet Union. Liberberg is the author of a number of books on the development of Jewish working class movements in Eastern Europe.

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