Biro-bidjan Jewish Administration Sends First Direct Message to Jews in America

An appeal to the Jews of the United States and Great Britain “to safeguard the future existence of the Jewish people by helping the heroic Red Army in every way possible,” was issued here today by the Administration of the Jewish autonomous province. This is the first time the Jews of Biro-Bidjan have ventured to contact the Jews of the democratic countries.

“We, the Jews of the Jewish autonomous province in the USSR, who for the first time after centuries of suffering and pogroms have been given the possibility to build our homeland on Soviet territory, appeal to you, our brethren in America and Great Britain, to compare the blossoming towns and villages which have been developed in a short time on the Talez, the vast swampy region of Siteria, with the ruins of Minsk, Berditchev, Vinnitza, Zhitomir and other Jewish-populated cities invaded by Nazi hordes,” the appeal says. “For the last fifteen years our Jewish autonomous province in Biro-Bidjan has undergone marked development, with new settlements springing up, collective farms and tractor stations organized, and with factories, schools, clubs and even a Jewish State Theatre functioning.

“We could enumerate the names of thousands who barely eked out a living in their small Ukrainian towns, who have successfully adjusted themselves as workers, agricultural laborers and intellectuals, brought up in a Jewish way in our Jewish province. A cabinet maker, Israel Goldmacher, and a milk-maid Leah Lishanskaya – ordinary Jewish people – are now our deputies in the Supreme Council of the U.S.S.R. We have subscribed twenty-three million roubles to the State Loan of 1942. We contributed eight million roubles to the State Defense Fund. Over two million roubles have been collected among us to present the Red Army with bombers and tanks as a special Jewish gift. Our collective farms turned over to the State Defense Fund thousands of tons of potatoes, vegetables, meat, honey and other foodstuff. We sent 2,000 collective and 60,000 individual gifts amounting to over 500,000 roubles to our soldiers at the front. Last winter we contributed, in addition, 65,000 pieces of warm clothing for the men at the front. Our boys fighting as parachutists in the rear of the enemy and as gunners at the front are distinguishing themselves in the battle to annihilate the Nazi invaders.

“In these decisive days, we of the Jewish autonomous province of Biro-Bidjan, appeal to every Jew in the world not to stand aside. Each Jew everywhere, in every way possible, must aid our fighting armies. Only thus can we secure a safe existence for the Jewish people and for all mankind,” the appeal concludes.

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