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RUSSIA.
13
General Roop, the Governor-General, acting, I conclude, upon instructions from St. Petersburg, issued orders that all foreign Jews residing in His Excellency's district, viz., the Governments of Kherson, Taurida, Bessarabia, and Ekaterinoslav, should be requested to leave the country as soon as possible. At Odessa this measure was put into force by the Prefect notifying to the Jews that they would have to quit the Empire, but that reasonable time would be given them to make arrangements for their departure. Jews of doubtful antecedents, that were not engaged in regular business, were asked to leave the city at a week's notice, others were given a longer period to wind up their affairs, and, in many cases, as much as a year's grace was granted. Clerks and shopmen are informed that they can only retain their situations by paying the tax of first guild merchants, and then only with the approval of the Russian authorities. Persons of standing do not seem to have been in any way molested.
The law respecting the domiciliation of foreign Jews was issued in 1857 ; but, until the present time, it never seems to have been enforced. During the last year, however, the number of foreign Jews increased so rapidly all over South Russia that the Government considered itself compelled to put, if not a complete, at least a partial, stop to the influx, and the various Governor-Generals and Governors were ordered to carry into effect the law of 1857. The Jews already form one-third of the population of the towns and villages in South Russia, and in some places, for instance, Berdicheff and Mohileff, the entire inhabitants are said to be of Jewish extraction. Added to this, Jews in this country have a strong objection to manual labour, and seldom, if ever, engage in agricultural pursuits, so that the disproportion of Jews to Christians seeking a livelihood by petty commerce, peddling, or light employment, is yearly on the increase. At Odessa, out of a population of nearly 300,000 inhabitants, including some 20,000 troops, there are alleged to be from 90,000 to 100,000 Jews, a considerable number of whom are Austrians, Roumanians, and Turkish subjects. Russian-born Jews are compelled, like other Russian subjects, to serve in the Army, so many of them used to proceed to Constantinople, and there procure Turkish naturalisation papers, from whence they returned to Odessa as Ottoman subjects. This enabled them to evade the military conscription, and the expedient resorted to is probably one of the chief reasons why the Government determined to banish all foreign Jews. The newspaper extracts quoted in the letter addressed to
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