$500,000 American Campaign Launched for Biro-bidjan Colonization

Stressing the need for Jewish colonization of Biro-Bidjan as a solution to growing anti-Semitism in Europe, the American Committee for the Settlement of Jews in Biro-Bidjan today launched a campaign to raise $500,000 for the settlement of 1500 families in that province with a convention at the Hotel Edison, attended by 450 delegates.

A resolution adopted by the conference emphasized that the settlement of Jews in Biro-Bidjan should not be regarded as competing with migration into Palestine.

In a message to the conference, Representative William I. Sirovich said that “Palestine, being a small country, cannot answer the problem of Jewish emigration from Germany, Poland, Rumania, Austria and Hungary. But Biro-Bidjan, a strip of Soviet territory in Eastern Asia has many possibilities.”

Denying that Biro-Bidjan would be exposed to attack should Japan declare war on Soviet Russia, Charles Hecht, attorney and novelist, who recently returned from a trip to Biro-Bidjan, drew a picture of what might conceivably happen should Germany in an attempt to wrest part of the Ukraine attack the Soviet Union. Victims of such a “drang nach Osten,” said Mr. Hecht, would be the Jews of Poland and Rumania, who form the bulk of Europe’s Jewish population.

Biro-Bidjan is a success, he said, pointing to “fertility of the land and industrial possibilities” as ample “to support and give a rich livelihood to millions of future inhabitants.

B. Z. Goldberg, associate editor of the Jewish Day, said: “Biro-Bidjan will be a great, complete and prosperous Jewish state whether we will it or not. If we join hands with the pioneers today, we can exert an influence over the state of tomorrow. We may be able to direct its development in closer contact with our historical tradition and the Jewish masses all over the world. Above all, we may turn it into a haven for Jews who would be Jews and live.”

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