Moscow (Dec. 3)
The Jewish colonies in the Crimea, established by the Agrojoint under the leadership of Dr. Joseph Rosen, and devastated by the Nazis during two-and-a-half years of German occupation, are beginning to revive, it was reported here today.
The report says that during the past year about 3,000 Jewish families returned to the Jewish collective settlements in the Crimea and that another 3,000 are expected within the next few months. It is estimated that these 6,000 families will total about 25,000 persons. Before the Nazi invasion, there were about 40,000 Jews in the 89 collective Jewish settlements.
The Jewish farms in the Crimea were among the most prosperous in the Soviet Union before the war. Each farmer had his own cottage of several rooms, his own cow, calf and sheep, in addition to his share in the collective produce. Almost all of the settlements had a dairy farm with more than 200 head of cattle, flocks of sheep, poultry yards and agricultural machinery. In addition, each had its own light and power supply, club rooms, nurseries, schools and other educational cultural facilities.
During the two-and-a-half years of German occupation, enormous losses were inflicted on the farms, especially in the Jankoi district. All livestock, trucks and agricultural machinery were sent to Germany; the vineyards were ruined; the public buildings, power stations, flour mills and most homes were razed.
When the first farmers returned from the interior last Spring and Summer, after the Germans had been driven out, they found their fields overgrown with weeds, as they had been 21 years before, when the first Jewish settlers came to the Crimea. With the help of the Soviet Government, which provided money, seed, cattle, agricultural machinery, building supplies and other necessities, the returned evacuees, together with demobilized Jewish soldiers, have accomplished miracles in the past eighteen months. Three of the collectives have almost reached their pre-war level of production, and many others are again functioning.