Soviet Embassy Reports Observance of Biro-bidjan Anniversary

The 25th anniversary of the proclamation by the Soviet Government of Biro-Bidjan as a “Jewish Autonomous Region” was observed in the Soviet Union on May 7, it was reported here today by the Soviet Embassy. The report said that the so-called “Jewish Autonomous Reginn” of Biro-bidjan has developed “a big industry” and has become “a granary for the vast Khabarovsk territory.”

At the same time, however, Jewish experts here familiar with the situation in Biro-bidjan, declared today that there are only 35, 000 Jews in Biro-bidjan, among a total population of 200,000 in the region. Biro-bidjan, was “an empty plot, ” it was pointed out, on which the Soviet Union announced in 1934 that it would place Jewish “pioneers who would use their talents.”

(In New York, the New York Times carried recently an eye-witness report by one of its Russian correspondents, Max Frankel, that there are “no Yiddish books printed” in Biro-bidjan, “no Yiddish taught in the schools, no Yiddish films are shown. ” Mr. Frankel who visited Biro-bidjan, pointed out that the region has only a two-page newspaper, published three times a week, with a circulation of only 1,000 copies.)

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