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Ukrainian Government Takes Steps to Improve Jews’ Economic Position

September 16, 1926
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(Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mail Service)

Measures for the improvement of the economic position of the Jews in the Ukraine were ordered by the Commissariat for Public Works in the Ukraine in a circular issued to the local authorities.

The Czarist Government, the circular says, conducted a policy of oppressing the National Minorities, of inciting one part of the population against the other. It adopted an attitude of special ferocity against the Jewish working class population, refusing it the right to work in industry and agriculture. This state of affairs compelled the Jews to engage in trading, in peddling, and other non-productive activities. The task before the Soviet Government just as it is trying to improve the position of the other formerly oppressed nations, is to take measures to improve the economic position of the Jewish poverty-stricken masses in the towns.

“For this purpose the Commissariat of Public Works submits to the local authoities the following measures as being essential:

“To engage Jewish workers on seasonal work and on permanent work in the industrial undertakings in the towns, villages and settlements; when engaging workers either for seasonal or permanent work, the labor exchanges must see to it that workers are taken on also from among the unemployed Jews in those places where Jews live in compact masses. Taking into consideration the fact that the Jewish youth in the small towns where industry is only slightly developed has few opportunities to enter into economic life, steps must be taken to place the Jewish youth in industrial undertakings in such numbers that it shall be in accordance with the proportion of the Jewish population in that particular area. The labor exchanges must come to an understanding with the economic bodies on this matter. The youth must also be placed in industrial undertakings outside the town areas, in sugar refineries, spirit distilleries, Soviet farms, etc. The labor exchanges in those places where there is a compact Jewish population, especially in the impoverished Jewish towns, must organize a network of productive collectives in order to include as large a number of unemployed Jews as possible in cooperative work, as well as to have them taught a trade. The cost of this activity is to be included in the budget of the labor exchanges. Measures are to be taken to provide the Jewish workers with expert training in their respective occupations in order to create favorable conditions for them in entering the various undertakings. Artisans must be made aware of the special concessions given them when they take on apprentices to learn their trades, with a view to opening up opportunities for the Jewish youth to become skilled workers. As large a number of the Jewish population as possible are to be given employment whenever there are public works to be carried out.” the instructions state.

The circular further instructs the local authorities to supply the Commissariat regularly with reports of what has been accomplished in the direction of carrying these measures into effect and also to submit proposals on the subject which will suggest additional measures to be taken in the direction of bringing the Jewish population into productive work.

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