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Jewish Autonomous Oblast

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User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 805
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Jan 2008, 19:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 23 Apr 2008, 16:07
This is an interesting sidenote of Soviet history. It is still around today.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Autonomous_Oblast
Jewish settlement and development in the region

On March 28, 1928, the Presidium of the General Executive Committee of the USSR passed the decree "On the attaching for Komzet of free territory near the Amur River in the Far East for settlement of the working Jews." The decree meant that there was "a possibility of establishment of a Jewish administrative territorial unit on the territory of the called region".[4]

On August 20, 1930 the General Executive Committee of RSFSR accepted the decree "On formation of the Birobidzhan national region in the structure of the Far Eastern Territory". The State Planning Committee considered the Birobidzhan national region as a separate economic unit. In 1932 the first scheduled figures of the region development were considered and authorized.[4]

On May 7, 1934, the Presidium of the General Executive Committee accepted the decree on its transformation in the Jewish Autonomous Region within the Russian Federation. In 1938, with formation of the Khabarovsk Territory, the Jewish Autonomous Region (JAR) was included in its structure.[4]

According to Joseph Stalin's national policy, each of the national groups that formed the Soviet Union would receive a territory in which to pursue cultural autonomy in a socialist framework. In that sense, it was also a response to two supposed threats to the Soviet state: Judaism, which ran counter to official state policy of atheism; and Zionism, and the creation of the modern State of Israel, which countered Soviet views of nationalism. The idea was to create a new "Soviet Zion", where a proletarian Jewish culture could be developed. Yiddish, rather than Hebrew, would be the national language, and a new socialist literature and arts would replace religion as the primary expression of culture.

Stalin's theory on the National Question held that a group could only be a nation if they had a territory, and since there was no Jewish territory, per se, the Jews were not a nation and did not have national rights. Jewish Communists argued that the way to solve this ideological dilemma was by creating a Jewish territory, hence the ideological motivation for the Jewish Autonomous Oblast. Politically, it was also considered desirable to create a Soviet Jewish homeland as an ideological alternative to Zionism and the theory put forward by Socialist Zionists such as Ber Borochov that the Jewish Question could be resolved by creating a Jewish territory in Palestine. Thus Birobidzhan was important for propaganda purposes as an argument against Zionism which was a rival ideology to Marxism among left-wing Jews.

Another important goal of the Birobidzhan project was to increase settlement in the remote Soviet Far East, especially along the vulnerable border with China. In 1928, there was virtually no settlement in the area, while Jews had deep roots in the western half of the Soviet Union, in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia proper. In fact, there had initially been proposals to create a Jewish Soviet Republic in the Crimea or in part of Ukraine but these were rejected because of fears of antagonizing non-Jews in those regions.

The geography and climate of Birobidzhan were harsh, the landscape largely swampland, and any new settlers would have to build their lives from scratch. Some have even claimed that Stalin was also motivated by anti-Semitism in selecting Birobidzhan: he wanted to keep the Jews as far away from the centers of power as possible. On the other hand, it must be said that the Ukrainians and Crimeans were reluctant to have a Jewish national home carved out of their territory, even though most Soviet Jews lived there, and there were very few alternative territories without rival national claims to them.

By the 1930s, a massive propaganda campaign was underway to induce more Jewish settlers to move there. Some of these incorporated the standard Soviet propaganda tools of the era, and included posters and Yiddish-language novels describing a socialist utopia there. Other methods bordered on the bizarre. In one instance, leaflets promoting Birobidzhan were dropped from an airplane over a Jewish neighborhood in Belarus. In another instance, a government-produced Yiddish film called Seekers of Happiness told the story of a Jewish family that fled the Depression in the United States to make a new life for itself in Birobidzhan.

As the Jewish population grew, so did the impact of Yiddish culture on the region. A Yiddish newspaper, the Birobidzhaner Shtern (Russian: Биробиджанер Штерн, Yiddish: ביראָבידזשאַנער שטערן, "Star of Birobidzhan"), was established; a theater troupe was created; and streets being built in the new city were named after prominent Yiddish authors such as Sholom Aleichem and Y. L. Peretz. The Yiddish language was deliberately bolstered as a basis for efforts to secularize the Jewish population and, despite the general curtailment of this action as described immediately below, the Birobidzhaner Shtern continues to publish a section in Yiddish.

Valdgeym is a Jewish settlement within the Jewish Autonomous Oblast. [1] The settlement was founded in 1928 and was the first collective farm established in the oblast. [2] In 1980 a Yiddish school was opened in the settlement. [3] Amurzet also has a history of Jewish settlement in the JAO.[4] [5] [6] For the period 1929 through 1939, this village was the center of Jewish settlement south of Birobidzhan. [7] The present day Jewish Community members hold Kabalat Shabbat ceremonies and gatherings that feature songs in Yiddish, Jewish cuisine, and broad information presenting historical facts on Jewish culture. Many descendants of the founders of this settlement, which was established just after the turn of the 20th century, have left their native village. Those who remained here in Amurzet, especially those having relatives in Israel, are learning about the traditions and roots of the Jewish people. [8] The population of Amurzet, as estimated in late 2006, is 5,213. [9] Smidovich is another early Jewish settlement in the JAO.
Kamran Heiss
Soviet cogitations: 1533
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Oct 2007, 15:55
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Party Member
Post 23 Apr 2008, 17:27
Very interesting but I thought a Jewish Oblast never existed and was just a thought.
We have beaten you to the moon, but you have beaten us in sausage making.- Nikita Khrushchev
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 4177
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Sep 2004, 16:21
Politburo
Post 23 Apr 2008, 19:56
It did exist, it just wasn't very successful. I mean, it's in Siberia....
"Comrade Lenin left us a great legacy, and we fucкed it up." - Josef Stalin
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Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 23 Apr 2008, 23:30
Makes about as much sense as Israel.
Soviet cogitations: 382
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Apr 2008, 07:53
Unperson
Post 24 Apr 2008, 09:10
AT least they didn't need to take land from other people to create a state.
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 24 Apr 2008, 09:24
Yeah.... because nobody wanted to live there in the first place



Come on. Of all the places to give to Jews, in the FAR EAST?!
Soviet cogitations: 382
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Apr 2008, 07:53
Unperson
Post 24 Apr 2008, 09:37
Why do the Jews need a state?
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 420
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 Apr 2008, 15:00
Ideology: Other
Komsomol
Post 24 Apr 2008, 10:14
Quote:
Stalin's theory on the National Question held that a group could only be a nation if they had a territory, and since there was no Jewish territory, per se, the Jews were not a nation and did not have national rights


That's why.
Soviet cogitations: 382
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Apr 2008, 07:53
Unperson
Post 24 Apr 2008, 10:49
I will support what ever Stalin supported.
Soviet cogitations: 1204
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 03 Jan 2005, 23:18
Party Member
Post 27 Apr 2008, 16:59
Quote:
I will support what ever Stalin supported.


Stalin's "theory" was shared by a lot of people.
EQUALITY! The first wish of nature, the first need of man, the first knot of all legitimate association!
[+-]
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 262
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Apr 2008, 23:22
Komsomol
Post 27 Apr 2008, 17:43
i think it is important for the Jewish people to have territory, but i dont think taking it from the Palestinians was right.

I mean, they didn't offer them a place from their OWN country did they? (they being US/UK ect)

And i do believe the Palestinians had no say in it. The next day the Jewsish people were there with a demolition crew telling them to get out.
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A lie told often enough becomes truth
-Vladimir Lenin
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