History of formation and development of the Jewish Autonomous Region
Cossack expeditions on the Amur River made a good start of the beginning of Russian economic development of the territory of the modern Jewish Autonomous Region (further – the JAR) in the 50-ies of the XIX century. Cossacks were sent here under the decree of Emperor Alexander II to form the Amur teams and security lines which temporarily replaced the frontier between Russia and Qing Empire of China.
The fifth expedition was intended for settling the territory of the future JAR. Moving downwards the Amur River Baikal Cossacks have founded 13 villages on its left bank in the territory of the present JAR.
However the real mass settling of these lands has begun in the end of the 20-ies of the XX century in connection with creation of the Jewish state formation.
The main ideologist and organizer of the formation of the Jewish Autonomous Region was P.G. Smidovich - the head of the Committee on land settlement of Jewish workers (KOMZET) created in 1924 at the Presidium of the Soviet of Nationalities of the USSR. He was occupied in search of places for compact settlement of Jews and adaptation of the Jewish people to agricultural work as well.
On March 28, the decision of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR passed the decree "on the attaching for KOMZET of free land near the Amur River in the Far East for settlement of the working Jews, including the area of Birsko-Bidzhanskiy district". And in May, 1928 Tikhonkaya railway station has accepted the first Jewish settlers from various cities, villages and places of Ukraine, Belarus and the central areas of Russia. Simultaneously the necessary money resources and technical equipment for their arrangement were allocated by the state’s decision.
The prospect of revival of the Jewish state has found the response from abroad, first of all from Jews of the USA and Canada. IKOR, a special organization on rendering assistance to the Jewish land management in the USSR, has been created. It rendered settlers such free aid as various equipment, engineering, agricultural stock, building materials, and medicines.
On August 20, 1930 the Central Executive Committee of RSFSR has accepted the decision "On Formation of Birobidzhan National Region in the Structure of the Far Eastern Territory".
On May 7, 1934 the Presidium of the Central Executive Committee has accepted the decision about transformation of the Biro-Bidzhanskiy national district to the Jewish Autonomous Region in structure of the Russian Federation. Administratively it entered into the Far Eastern territory.
In 1938, because of division of the Far Eastern territory into the Primorye and Khabarovsk Territories, the JAR became a part of the Khabarovsk Territory. And in 1991 after acceptance of the Declaration by the Supreme Soviet of RSFSR about state legal status of the Jewish Autonomous Region, it became the full subject of the Russian Federation.
September 7, 2011
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