"Next Year in Birobidzhan!"

In 1928, a “Jewish autonomous region” was set up in the far east to provide a home for Soviet Jewry. But, as a new book describes, it was no solution at all.

Ticket of the 4th OZET lottery for the support of the Jewish autonomous region in Birobidzhan, 1932. Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images.

Ticket of the 4th OZET lottery for the support of the Jewish autonomous region in Birobidzhan, 1932. Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images.

Observation
Aug. 11 2016
About the author

Walter Laqueur is the author of, among other books, WeimarA History of TerrorismFascism: Past, Present, Future, and The Dream that Failed: Reflections on the Soviet Union. His newest book, Putinism: Russia and Its Future with the West, was released in 2015 by Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s.


Once upon a time, Birobidzhan was a name to conjure with. Today, few know what the word stands for.

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More about: History & Ideas, Soviet Jewry, The Jewish World, USSR