A Contradictory Policy

I found this reading very interesting. Given the long history of anti-Semitism in both Russia and Europe as a whole, I went into this excerpt wondering how exactly the Soviets would address the Jewish people of Russia. It’s not exactly a surprise that the Stalinist government handled the issue by attempting the creation of a Jewish community in their image, out in the Far East. The thing I found most interesting was the contrast between the material and the cultural effort that the Soviets put into this region. The Soviet government did a great deal to promote Soviet Jewish culture both in the region and abroad (in a way that they never did in the Kresy), while neglecting the actual physical needs of the inhabitants. As such, this begs the question: was this a legitimate effort to help the Soviet Jewish community or a simple propaganda move? And if it was to be a sort of “model community”, why wasn’t more effort put forward to improve the material conditions of the inhabitants?

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