Skip to content

OZET (The Society for the Land Settlement of Working Jews in the USSR) Central Board Publication

ОЗЕТ (Общество землеустройства еврейских трудящихся)

OZET was The Society for the Land Settlement of Working Jews in the USSR, (A.K.A. Jewish Toilers on the Land), and it was created in 1925. Its chief responsibility was to aid in the settlement of Jewish citizens on agriculture lands in the Soviet Union. While OZET was primarily an independent organization, it was linked to the government-formed KOMZET, the commission tasked with settling Jewish citizens. Not all settlers in the OZET/KOMZET program were Soviet citizens, however.

KOMZET handled the "logistics of creating Jewish agricultural colonies" and by the late 1920s, Jewish citizens in the Soviet Union were routinely being settled in the Russian republic as well as in the republics of the Ukrainian SSR, Belorussian SSR, and Uzbek SSR, in addition to the Caucasus. In the Crimea, OZET helped place a number of settlers on its peninsula. The Jewish settlements were officially called a "rural council" or, Selsovet.

In May 1938, OZET was permanently adjourned and in July, KOMZET was disbanded. Some members of their respective staffs fell victim to the Great Purge during the Stalin-era. For example, authorities arrested OZET’s director, Semen Dimanstein along with members of his staff. Dimanstein was summarily put to death for treason.

Sources & Citations

Shrayer, M. D. (2018). Voices of Jewish-Russian literature: An anthology. Boston: Academic Studies Press.
Smele, J. (2015). Historical dictionary of the Russian civil wars, 1916 - 1926: 1. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
Solomon, S. G. (2006). Doing medicine together: Germany and Russia between the wars. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Elbogen, I., Grayzel, S., Marx, A.. (1953). A century of Jewish life. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America.