Satan has managed to copy churches, and also appears as a copy of Jesus. But did you know that he also tried to copy a future Jewish homeland?
The Jewish home coming to Eretz Israel is the Middle East became a more painful struggle than anyone could have imagined 100 years ago.
While Hitler tried to deceived the Jews to gain their freedom by working hard in the National Socialistic workers paradise in Germany, Stalin had even a bigger idea. In 1928 he set a side a land area in South Siberia to create an alternative Jewish homeland.
The Jewish Autonomous Oblast was finaly established in 1934, with Birobidzhan with its capital. The communistic self-governing Jewish region stretched over 36,000 km2. That is larger than todays Israel, which is 22,072 km2.
The first Jewish Autonomous area was the result of Joseph Stalin’s nationality policy, which allowed for the Jews of the Soviet Union to receive a territory. Here Russian Jews could pursue Yiddish cultural heritage within a socialist governing model. According to the 1939 population census, 17,695 Jews lived in the region. They were 16 per cent of the total population. Today, only five per cent of a population of 77.000 is of Jewish origin.
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 also responded to two supposed threats to the Soviet state:
1. Judaism: Which ran counter to official state policy of atheism
2. Zionism: The advocacy of a Jewish national state in British occupied «Palestine»,which countered Soviet views of nationalism.
The Soviets envisaged setting up 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.
Thus Birobidzhan was important for propaganda purposes as an argument against Zionism which was a rival ideology to Marxism among left-wing Jews.
By the 1930s, a massive propaganda campaign developed to induce more Jewish settlers to move there. The campaign partly 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 Great Depression in the United States to make a new life for itself in Birobidzhan.