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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Jews in Uzbekistan

Jewish immigration to Uzbekistan from Asia - Jewish emigration wave to China - Jewish immigration wave from western and central European SU (Big Flight from Barbarossa) - Jewish emigration to Palestine or Anders' army - Jewish settling, or remigration wave to eastern Europe - countings of 1959 and 1970

Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Uzbekistan, vol. 16,
                col. 40. [[Racist]] Zionists exiled in Uzbekistan, 1928,
                in local costume. Courtesy A. Rafaeli-Zenziper, Archive
                for Russian Zionism, Tel Aviv.
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Uzbekistan, vol. 16, col. 40. [[Racist]] Zionists exiled in Uzbekistan,
1928, in local costume. Courtesy A. Rafaeli-Zenziper, Archive for Russian Zionism, Tel Aviv.

from: Uzbekistan; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 16

presented by Michael Palomino (2008)



<UZBEKISTAN, union republic in Soviet Central Asia.

[Immigration waves to Uzbekistan: from Asia and from eastern Europe]

The Jews in Uzbekistan were affiliated with two communities:

(1) the ancient one, the Jews of *Bukhara, who speak a Tajiki-Jewish dialect;

(2) the new one, of eastern European origin.

According to their tradition, the Bukharan Jews emigrated from Persia at the time of the persecutions of King Peroz (458-485), while some consider themselves as descendants of the exiles of Samaria, on the assumption that "Habor" ([[Bible]] II Kings 17:6) is Bukhara. Anthropological examinations undertaken by L.V. Ushanin in 1926-29 proved that they originated in the Middle East (of the pure (col. 39)

Armenoid type), although there is no information on their exact non-Jewish origin. Precise information on the spiritual works of the Jews of Uzbekistan are, however, only available from the 14th century onward (see *Bukhara; *Samarkand).
[Emigration wave to China]

Jews of Uzbekistan emigrated to Khazaria and *China because of their location at the crossroads of the caravans that traveled there. The principal traffic between the Muslim world and Itil (*Atil), the capital of *Khazaria, passed through northern Uzbekistan, and the information on "many Jews who came to the king of the Khazars from the towns of the Muslims" (the author al-M as'ūdī of the tenth century) and the Jews who came "from Khurasan and strengthened the hands of the inhabitants of the country" (the anonymous "Cambridge Document") refers essentially to the Jews of Uzbekistan, which was considered as an annexed territory of Iranian-Eastern Khurasan.

[Immigration wave from Iran in the 13th century]

There is a tradition concerning another wave of Jewish emigration from *Iran to Uzbekistan as a result of the Mongolian conquests of the 13th century, and the surnames of the Jews of Uzbekistan show that even during subsequent periods emigrants fro Iranian-speaking communities of the west and the south were integrated among them.

In modern times, however, the fanatical Muslim domination severely prejudiced the growth and economic development of the community.

[Russian rule - since 1919 Soviet rule]

The Russian conquest of the 19th century came as a blessing, especially in those regions subjected to direct Russian rule, when the local Jews were granted complete judicial equality with the Muslim natives and enjoyed rights which the Russian government withheld from the Jews of eastern Europe (such as the free acquisition of real estate). A migration movement from Bukhara to *Tashkent continued through several generations. The economic progress of these Jews was also reflected by their considerable contribution to the Jewish settlement of Erez Israel (Ereẓ Israel) [[Land of Israel]]. The Soviet regime, which liquidated private commerce, brought about the transfer of the more than 200,000 local Jews into administrative positions, industry and agriculture.

[[The discrimination of the capitalist Jews and the Gulag system are not mentioned]].

The Soviet regime did not bring about any considerable emigration of East European Jews to Uzbekistan because of linguistic difficulties and the warring gangs of Muslim insurgents (Basmachi), of the 1920s and 1930s.

[Jewish immigration wave during the Second World War (Big Flight from Barbarossa) - emigration to Persia and Palestine - or draft to Anders' army]

World War II, however, suddenly converted Uzbekistan in to an important Jewish center. The Jews of western and central European U.S.S.R. found refuge there [[as a part of the flight movement of the Big Flight from Barbarossa]], and Tashkent accommodated some of the Jewish institutions of Moscow. Many Jews who had been deported by the Soviet regime between 1939 and 1941 from the annexed eastern parts of Poland and the Baltic states to labour camps or exile in Siberia because of "bourgeois" class origin or political affiliations ([[racist]] Zionists or socialists) also migrated to Uzbekistan upon their release from the camp or place of exile. Some succeeded in continuing on to Palestine through *Persia, either as Polish soldiers in General Anders' army or as orphaned children (the so-called Tehran children).

[Emigration and resettling in eastern Europe since 1946]

With the retreat (col. 40)

of the German army from eastern Europe, many of the refugees and evacuees returned to their places of origin, but a considerable number of Ashkenazi East European Jews settled in Uzbekistan and became integrated in administration, industry and education there. A certain rapprochement between them and the local Jews resulted from the propagation of the Russian language within both communities and the feeling of the common Jewish fate, which was emphasized by the events of the war.

[[The anti-Semitic propaganda waves and the anti-Jewish measures after the foundation of racist Zionist Free Mason CIA Herzl Israel since 1948 are not mentioned]].

The census of 1959 registered 94,344 Jews (1.2% of the total population) in Uzbekistan; 50,445 of them lived in the capital of the republic, Tashkent. Only 19,266 of them declared Tajiki to be their native language; about 27,560 Yiddish; and the remainder Russian. The 1970 Soviet census showed 103,000 Jews in Uzbekistan.


-- R. Loewenthal: The Jews of Bukhara (1961)
-- Z.L. Amitin-Shapiro: Ocherk pravovogo byta sredneaziatskikh yevreyev (1931)
-- idem: Ocherki sotsialisticheskogo stroitelstva sredi sredneaziatskikh yevreyev (1933).

[A.N.P.]> (col. 41)

Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Uzbekistan,
                          vol. 16, col. 39-40
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Uzbekistan, vol. 16, col. 39-40

Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971:
                          Uzbekistan, vol. 16, col. 41

Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Uzbekistan, vol. 16, col. 41