RUSSIA - Jewish Settlement in Crimea

In 1921, Crimea became an autonomous republic.

In 1923, the All-Union Central Committee passed a motion to resettle a large number of the Jewish population from Ukrainian and Belarusian cities to Crimea. 50,400 families were moved. The plan to further resettle Jewish families was again confirmed by the Central Committee of the USSR on 15 July 1926 assigning 124 million roubles to the task and also receiving 67 million from foreign sources.

The actions of the Soviet government for the supported settlement in Crimea with Jewish families in 1927 led to a growing anti-Semitism in the area.

In 1944, it was suggested to Stalin to form a Jewish Soviet Socialist Republic in Crimea, however, the idea was not materialized.


Arno's commentary

Another article from Tablet: A New Read on Jewish Life, reveals Jewish Crimea:

Tens of thousands of mostly young Jews settled in this part of “New Russia” over the next century. The Crimea became so identified with Russia’s Jewish history, in fact, that Jewish activists in St. Petersburg pointed to the long legacy of Crimean Jews as an argument for Jewish emancipation in the empire —after all, they claimed, Jews had been living there longer than Russians.

Jewish residents of the Crimea were also deeply engaged in the critical Jewish question of the time —Zionism—and by the late 19th century the area had become a training ground for future Zionist pioneers, who practiced agricultural techniques there before relocating to Palestine. Joseph Trumpeldor—who famously gave his life defending the northern Galilee settlement of Tel Hai with the motto, “It is good to die for our country”—once trained potential migrants in the Crimea (One Crimean settlement was named Tel Hai in his honor).

Jewish settlers turned out to be excellent farmers. They established collective farm settlements and thereby laid the foundation for the very successful Kibbutz Movement later on in Israel. The very popular folk song, “Hey! Dzhankoye” expressed the miracle transformation of Jewish merchants into farmers: “Who says that Jews can only be traders?” asked the final verse of the song. “Simply look at Dzhan.”

2256(For more on Israel’s history, read The Palestinian Right to Israel, Item 2256.)  


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