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Uzbekistan Soviet Republic Becomes New Home for Hundreds of Thousands of Evacuated Jews

February 19, 1942
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Development of a new Jewish center in the Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan with a possible Jewish population of 1,000,000 people was predicted here today as tens of thousands of Jews from the Ukraine, White Russia, Crimea and other parts of Soviet territory who were evacuated to this part of the Soviet Union prior to the Nazi invasion of their home towns and colonies, started to map out plans for remaining permanently in this part of the world, in accordance with the order issued yesterday to the local authorities here by the Soviet Government in Moscow, instructing them to arrange for the permanent absorption of all evacuees.

The Moscow Jewish Community offices which have been evacuated from the Soviet capital to Tashkent are expected to play an important role in the resettlement of the evacuated Jews. These offices are now being flooded with cables from Jews in America interested in locating their evacuated relatives. Recognized by the Soviet authorities, the Moscow Jewish Community is expected to undertake, from its Tashkent headquarters, the work of re-uniting members of war-torn Jewish families as well as the task of arranging for transporting some of the belongings which many Jewish evacuees were compelled to leave behind.

The majority of the evacuated Jews are in great need of clothing , shoes, and linen. They also lack household equipment since they were unable to take much with them during the evacuation. They are, however, well provided with food.

Starting on a new life here, as permanent residents, does not constitute a serious problem for the evacuees since the central government is determined to aid them in adjusting themselves to life in this part of the Soviet Union through all possible means at its disposal.

In addition to the tens of thousands of Soviet Jewish evacuees now scattered in the districts of Tashkent, Samarkand and Alma-Ata, there are also tens of thousands of Jewish refugees from Poland who were transported to these sections after having been released from internment camps. The Polish Embassy in Moscow has arranged for the registration of all Jews who are holders of Polish passports with a view of reestablishing contact for them with their relatives in America and in England and also for the purpose of securing exact data on the number of Polish Jews now living in Soviet Russia as refugees.

The number of Soviet and Polish Jews now concentrated in Uzbekistan is estimated to be about one million. There were about 40,000 Jews living in the whole of Uzbekistan prior to the outbreak of the present war, the majority of them residing in Tashkent and Samarkand.

Sparsely populated, the Uzbekistan Soviet Republic offers unlimited opportunities in the agricultural and industrial field and is able to absorb millions of new settlers.

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