While Jewish Position Tragic, Revolution Beneficial to It, Says German Leader (J. T. A. Mail Service)
The future of Russian Jewry, numbering nearly three million souls, is a matter of greater concern to the Jews of Germany than to any other Jewish community, Dr. Ismar Freund, President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Prussia, who recently returned from a tour in Russia to study conditions on the spot, writes in the first of a series of his impressions appearing here in the official organ of the Berlin Jewish Community.
Whenever German Jewry was in a low state, not only numerically, and there was a feeling of pessimism abroad, Dr. Freund says, we turned our eyes to the East, and took courage at the thought of the inexhaustible reservoir which unceasingly fed us with a new stream of life, and assured our further existence. There cannot be a single Jew in the world who is indifferent to the fate of millions of his fellow-Jews.
“The fate of the Jews in Soviet Russia is a very tragic one,” Dr. Freund goes on. “On the one hand, there has perhaps never before been a Revolution which has brought so beneficial a transformation to the Jews as the Russian Revolution. Under the Czarist regime, the Jews of Russia were helots. The Revolution has not only in theory, but in practice also, made an earnest effort to give the Jews absolute equality, political, economic and social. The tragedy is that this same Revolution has swept like a storm over the Jews of Russia, and has uprooted them to an extent unparalleled perhaps in the whole of Jewish modern history. The Russian Revolution, being anti-capitalist and agrarian, benefited the workers and the peasants, and both these classes contained very few Jews, with the result that millions of Jews have been left without any means of livelihood.
“The idea of solving the problem by mass emigration is one which cannot be seriously entertained. It must be solved inside the country. A beginning has already been made, in the agricultural colonization and the industrialization movements. In Moscow alone, there are already about 10,000 Jewish factory workers. In a town like Minsk, for instance, there are 3,000 Jewish artisans. There are also the large masses of Jewish homeworkers, and the task before us is to see that these shall be provided with their raw materials and the machinery to enable them to earn their livelihood.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.