Samarkand, Uzbekistan (Feb. 18)
Jews evacuated from Poland into Central Asia in the early months of the war have converted this ancient and colorful city into a textile manufacturing center which can be compared to the Balut section of Lodz which was populated before the war by thousands of Jewish weavers.
Many of these Jews are professional weavers from Lodz and Bialystok, while others pursued different occupations before the war, or had no skills at all, Today they are working in cooperative textile factories and, according to available information, are producing an average of 40,000 yards of fabrics daily. Some of these weavers have won awards as the best textile workers in the area.
All of the Jewish weavers were happy to hear that their native cities in Poland have been liberated, but none of them are planning to return to their former homes. They have settled in Samarkand for good. In some of the cooperative factories the Jews are training Uzbekistan as weavers and are taking them in as full-fledged members of the cooperatives, thus creating friendly relations with the local population.