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Thread: Биробиджан

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    Биробиджан

    I was reading the book "Atlas of Russian History" by Martin Gilbert (EXTREMELY recommended) and there I learned about Birobidzhan.

    Birobidzhan is apparently a jewish autounomous oblast (region) on the border with China, close to Vladivostok. I was kind of surprised to find out that there is a jewish autonoums oblast in Russia, especially since we hear alot about anti-semetism there. Does anyone know, is this a kind of Isreal 2 (movie title: Isreal 2, the return of the Isreal)?
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    JB
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    I was there 5 years ago. Not much there and very hard to find a Jew. Sleepy little town 3 hours from Habarovsk. The sign at the town entrance has the name in Russian and Yiddish but when I asked to see the synagog my friends told me there wasn't one. All the Jews had immigrated to Israel long ago. I looked it up on the net and found a story about a few Jews that were left who hold services in a building they borrow every Saturday. Lots of pretty farm land and TINY farm villages on the way there. Cows wandering in the road and people using old motorcycles with sidecars to collect blackberries for market.
    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

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    Wow, interesting! Thanks for the info! So do they still call it the jewish autonomic oblast, even though there are virtual no jews?
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
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    well they still call it Leningradskaya oblast' dont they ?
    Вот это да, я так люблю себя. И сегодня я люблю себя, ещё больше чем вчера, а завтра я буду любить себя to ещё больше чем сегодня. Тем что происходит,я вполне доволен!

  5. #5
    FL
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    Jewish Autonomous Region official government website

    It is interesting the site has Russian, English and Chinese versions.

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    FL
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    quote
    "
    How did the Jewish Autonomous Region appear on the map of our country?

    Establishment of the Jewish Autonomous Region was necessity for more than two millions of the Jews, living in the Soviet Union. They were considered by tsarism to be foreigners, limited in choice of domicile, possibility of housing accommodation possession. They could farm and be occupied by limited kinds of activity only. They continued to remain one of the most suffering people of the country with low living standard, limited possibilities for realization of intellectual and creative potential.

    In 1921 the Committee on land settlement of the working Jews (KOMZET), which was headed by P.G.Smidovich, was headed. It searched for places for compact moving of the Jews, adaptation of the Jewish population to agricultural labor.

    The first attempts of KOMZET to create in 1924-26 Jewish settlements in the Crimea, in the Ukraine, Stavropol Territory, near Smolensk and Pskov didn't meet with success because of lack of free grounds in these regions and necessity of transfer of concrete owners' lands to Jewish settlers. The southern region of Priamurye, called then Birsko-Bidzhanskiy region, after an investigation by the expedition led by B.L.Bruk, the professor, under a management of V.R.Viliams in 1927, was recognized as a territory, favorable for compact moving of the working Jews.

    History of the JAR establishment, as the first and only state territorial unit of the Jews not only in the USSR, but also in the world (Israel was established on a solution of UNO in 194, begins from the fact that the Presidium of the General Executive Committee of the USSR passed the decree "On the attaching for KOMZET of free grounds near the Amur River in the Far East for settlement of the working Jews" on March 28, 1928. The decree meant that there was "a possibility of establishment of a Jewish administrative territorial unit on the territory of the called region".

    In May, 1928 on Tikhonkaya station, where the Birobidzhan emigrant point was, the first group of settlers from cities and villages of the Ukraine and Byelorussia, central regions of Russia arrived. Simultaneously the state sent machines and necessary means there.

    Jewish settlements were created in small villages. They connected the Trans-Siberian railway with the Amur River valley. The epicenter of the Jewish resettlement was Tikhonkaya station (later Birobidzhan city).
    ...
    "
    and so on
    see Jewish Autonomous Region SOCIETY/ History

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL
    Jewish Autonomous Region official government website

    It is interesting the site has Russian, English and Chinese versions.
    Well it is really close to the border with china. I have a picture of the train station. Passed through it this summer on my way from Khabarovsk to Ulan- Ude. There was only a 2 min stop though so I didnt see anything really. Trying to get the picture off my other computer but the disk drive is acting up. Try again later....

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    FL
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    Национальный состав населения
    Еврейской автономной области


    Национальность Численность
    (чел. в 2002 г.) % от общего
    Русские 171 697 89,93%
    Украинцы 8 483 4,44%
    Евреи 2 327 1,22%
    Татары 1 196 0,63%
    Белорусы 1 182 0,62%
    Молдаване 672 0,35%
    Азербайджанцы 594 0,31%
    Немцы 453 0,24%
    Корейцы 402 0,21%
    Мордва 401 0,21%
    Чуваши 320 0,17%
    Лица, не указавшие национальность 316 0,17%
    Армяне 282 0,15%
    Башкиры 188 0,10%
    Узбеки 156 0,08%
    Поляки 146 0,08%
    Цыгане 132 0,07%
    Таджики 128 0,07%
    Марийцы 103 0,05%
    Китайцы 102 0,05%
    Якуты 95 0,05%
    Казахи 94 0,05%
    Удмурты 88 0,05%
    Лезгины 88 0,05%
    Аварцы 86 0,05%
    По результатам переписи населения, 2002 г.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Jewish Autonomous Region
    Population (in 2002 year)
    Jews - 2 327 persons - It is 1,22% (all population of the Jewish Autonomous Region (190 915 persons))

    link:

    Еврейская автономная область

    quote
    "
    Численность: 190 915 чел.
    (0,13% от РФ, 80 место в РФ)
    Плотность: 5,3 чел./км2.
    "

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    FL
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  10. #10
    JB
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    Wow! Those photos bring back memories . Our apartment was on the sixth floor of a building overlooking that bridge over the river. And the wooden church was new, still some construction going on. It looks like the city has really gotten better since the summer of 2000. Then it was a little sad and a lot more shabby. Great pics, thanks for the link!
    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

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    Yeah it doesn't look too shabby.

    You would think, with the current theoligical-political situation in the world, that the 98.8% of the oblast's population didn't want to be associated with the far minority and would rename it... but I guess it's really up to them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB
    I was there 5 years ago. Not much there and very hard to find a Jew.
    Load of codswollop. I know a bloke who works for Birabidzhaner Shtern, a newspaper in Yiddish. And I was there last year - plenty of Jews. But I agree with you - many have left for Israel.
    Show yourself - destroy our fears - release your mask

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    JB
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    VM your back! Life just isn't much fun without your sunny personality!
    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

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    Yes, if I remember right, the Jewish Autonomous Oblast was another Stalin's idea in the field of national politic. Kind of answer to creation of Israel and ideology of Zionism: to create the autonomous republic of Soviet Jews (and keep them from emigration to Israel by the way).

    However, most of the Jews did not want to leave big cities and move to Chinese border... so the idea just died in natural way.
    Кр. -- сестр. тал.

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    I heard that this was pre-Israel.
    The location was chosen to populate the vunerable Russian-Chinese border.
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    JB, what's wrong with my back? Is it вся белая?
    Show yourself - destroy our fears - release your mask

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