Digest of World Press Opinion

The Chicago Tribune sent John Powell as its special correspondent to Biro-Bidjan to investigate the territory there from a military viewpoint. Mr. Powell reports his impressions to his paper as follows:

The Jewish colony of Biro-Bidjan constitutes another link in the defense chain which Soviet Russia has forged about the Japanese dominated state of Manchuquo. It is a triangular area not far west of Khabarovsk and is known as the Jewish national district. It gets its name from two small rivers, the Biro and the Bidjan, which flow south into the Amur.

The bolsheviks established the settlement in 1928 directly across the Amur from Manchuquo. Its position is such as to give the Japanese a maximum amount of trouble in the event of war. The Sungari river, chief navigable waterway of northern Manchukuo, flows into the Amur at Tungkiang, which is adjacent to the southern border of Biro-Bidjan. It is here that, the gunboats belonging to the Manchukuo “navy” are concentrated.

CARRY JAPANESE CREWS

All these gunboats carry Japanese officers and crews. In the event of a war between Japan and the U. S. S. R. fighting probably would break out here immediately, since the Soviet has stationed its Amur river fleet between Tungkiang and {SPAN}Khabaro#sk{/SPAN}, the capital of the Soviet far east.

The Japanese now are pushing the construction of a new railway to extend from the new Japanese port of Rashin on the upper western Corean coast to the mouth of the Sungari. This will permit the transportation of troops to the Manchuquo terrain west of both Vladivostok and Khaborovsk. It also will pave the way for any offensive designed for the occupation of far eastern Russia, long eyed hungrily by the imperial Japanese army.

It becomes obvious, therefore, that a Soviet fostered Jewish colony at this strategic point will serve as a convenient base in any armed conflict. Meanwhile the agricultural and other products of the area will be of service to the Russian army which is headquartered at Khaborovsk.

SOVIET POLICY TOWARD RELIGION

The Chicago Sentinel, speaking of Jucaism in Soviet Russia, believes that the Soviet government will soon adopt a milder policy towards religion. The paper writes.

The recent restoration of the rights of citizenship to clergymen and to all other church and synagogue officials represents a prophetic event in the life of Russian Jewry. According to the new decree all clerics no longer belong to the category of “declassed” and they are entitled to obtain food and other necessities in government establishments.

We believe that the next step of the Russian government will be to allow greater leeway in religious matters. Not only internal but also external happenings are bound to dictate such a policy. The recognition which the Soviet government is constantly gaining in foreign countries will automatically make for greater liberalism in religion. Our readers will recall that we have never been discouraged about the future of Judaism in Russia. Russian Jewry has for a long time been an inexhaustible reservoir of spiritual and cultural energy and it is our firm conviction that a new day will still dawn Jewishly for our brethren in that country.

ROOSEVELT TRIUMPH BLOW TO DEMAGOGUES

That the Democratic election victory will also deal a hard blow to those demagogues who are spreading propaganda that the NRA was wrecked by Jews is the opinion expressed by the Spokesman, published in Louisville, Kentucky. It states:

Depression breeds anti-Semitism. No depression, no anti-Semitism. Given the endorsement of the populace, the Roosevelt administration, with time to reinforce and solidify what good work it has so far accomplished, should pull through and out of the depression. If prosperity returns, if men go back to work and once again enjoy the sense of security engendered by a weekly pay check, demagogues like Pelley will no longer have a great army of disgruntled unemployed from which to enlist a following.

The anti-Semitic danger is still potential, and with a failure of recovery, would grow into a real menace, but with the nation behind the New Deal, even the most pessimistic business will admit that the depression is a thing of the past.

SPECIAL PROTECTION FOR SAAR JEWS

The American Jewish World, dealing with the forthcoming session of the League of Nations next Wednesday, says:

The League of Nation’s committee to deal with the Saar problem is now considering the question whether to stipulate special protection for the Jews in the Saar, in the event the plebiscite favors the return of the region to Germany, or whether to include the Jews in the general demand for protection of national minorities residing in the Saar.

The experience of the last fifteen years of European history should convince the members of the League committee of the need for special and specific protection for the Jews. The League experts ought to find no difficulty in compiling a long list of special official and governmental discrimination which do not apply to other minorities.

POLAND AND CANADA SIGN TRADE PACT

The benefit which Poland can derive from a better treatment of its Jewish population is pointed out in an editorial in the Canadian Jewish {SPAN}Chroni#e{/SPAN} in connection with a commercial treaty which is to be signed between Canada and Poland. The editorial declares:

While most nations are glowering at each other, and making ominous preparations for their individual welfare, Canada and Poland are about to consummate a treaty which will be to the mutual advantage of both nations. For some inexplicable reason, there was no common platform on which these two countries could meet, much to the detriment of Canadian-Polish trade, but with a common working basis, we can readily understand how the people of both lands will eventually benefit from this interchange of business.

We have heard so many dolorous stories of the plight of Polish Jewry, and of late they have been more hair-raising than ever, that as Jews as well as Canadians, we welcome every effort that is being made towards international amity on an industrial basis. The Jews of Poland have lost many privileges under the enactment of recent laws, and the poverty is so indescribable as to be almost unbelievable. The projected treaty may not be of value in correcting such discrepancies as the wholesale discharge of Jewish teachers or the crowding out of Jews from their vocations, but as an instrument for more amity, it is of great value.

Commenting on Father Coughlin’s interview with the JTA. in which he expressed himself as a friend of the Jews, the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle of Milwaukee says:

When Father Charles E. Coughlin last Spring attacked Henry Morgenthau Jr., Secretary of the Treasury, on the silver monetization issue and in the course of an acrid argument used the terms “Jewish gold” and “Gentile silver” we were struck with feelings of disappointment and fear. Disappointment because we had admired the eloquent clergyman’s courageous crusade against a vicious financial and political system that had produced the paradox of poverty amidst abundant wealth, and believed him to be a man of broad human sympathies and liberality. Fear because the injection of the “Jewish issue” in a purely technical dispute on monetary policy indicated an anti-Semitic attitude on the part of the celebrated Catholic priest.

We could not understand how any Catholic lay or clerical leader in America could even conceive of utilizing the vicious weapon of race or religious prejudice to gain any advantage, moral or material; for that poisonous weapon has been just as damaging to the Catholic in America as it has been to the

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