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Labor Action, 15 August 1949


Al Findley

Deportation of Jews from Russian Border Areas
Confirmed by Israeli Dispatches


From Labor Action, Vol. 13 No. 35, 29 August 1949, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Reports of the deportation of masses of Jews from the border provinces of Russia are increasing in frequency. Outside of the Yiddish press, Labor Action was the first paper to report the deportation of Jews from the Ukraine and White Russia. Since then the deportations seem to have been extended to other border provinces – Russian-annexed Bessarabia and Bukovina.

It is significant that whereas all previous reports originated in Europe and from so-called private sources, the new reports originate from Tel-Aviv and are probably a reflection of the concern of the Israeli government for the fate of the Russian Jews. The government of Israel probably has the best sources of information about the fate of the Jews in Stalinist Russia.

The Israeli government has known the truth for a long time but has remained silent in order not to lose Russian and satellite support. The fact that the Israeli government (with its strict censorship) NOW permits a dispatch from Tel-Aviv shows that the situation is probably worse than that already reported.

On August 15, 1949. the Jewish Morning Journal reported deportations from Bessarabia and Bukovina. On August 19, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported from Tel-Aviv that during the period from, the 10th to the 20th of July, masses of Jews were arrested and packed into waiting trains, shipped to Siberia to special areas assigned to Jewish deportees from the Russia-Rumanian border. In Czernowicz. capital of Bukovina, there were 1,800 Jewish families after the war. The total Jewish population in the two provinces is estimated at 70,000.

“Addressee Has Moved”

The reports also indicate that a state of panic reigns among Jews inhabiting the Rumanian sectors of these provinces. Most of these had prepared to go to Israel, but were caught by the government’s action in stopping emigration to Israel. These Jews too fear exile to Siberia. Whether Russia will completely ignore the boundaries and treat Rumania as another province is doubtful.

Lending further credence to these reports is the established fact that it has been months since Jews in Israel have received any mail from their relatives in Bessarabia and Bukovina. This is similar to developments in the Ukraine and White Russia, where mail addressed to Jews has been returned marked “Addressee has moved.”

The Russian government has denied officially the deportation of Jews from the former Rumanian provinces, but has not denied their deportation from the Ukraine and White Russia. That such diplomatic denials are of little worth is obvious to anyone at all familiar with the glib lies of the diplomats.

The facts fall into a pattern. Russia is clearing her border provinces of all nationalities that it considers “unreliable.”

This group label and “racial” guilt have been applied to the Jews as a whole in typically reactionary and totalitarian manner. That Jews as a group are considered “unreliable” is proved by the campaign against Jewish “cosmopolitanism” and the weeding out of Jews from ‘ governmental and party posts. Taken in context, the fact of the Stalinist deportations can now be considered as firmly established.

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Last updated on 8 June 2021