Russians

Robert talks to Robert Weinberg, author of "Stalin's Forgotten Zion: Birobidzhan (BIH-roh-bih-ZHAN) & the Making of a Soviet Jewish Homeland: An Illustrated History, 1928-1996." Birobidzhan is a small region in Far East Russia that was an attempt to get Jews in the Soviet Union to do "useful work" on the land, rather than be merchants. It was also suppose to preserve Jewish culture. Weinberg tells us why it failed, although it was considered a real alternative to Israel up until right after the end of the Second World War. One problem: the land was swampy, and the region is far from any center of Jewish life. (STATIONS: "Stalin's Forgotten Zion: Birobidzhan & the Making of a Soviet Jewish Homeland: An Illustrated History, 1928-1996" is published by the University of California Press/Judah L. Magnes Museum.)

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