Looking Back April 21, 2006

Published April 21, 2006, issue of April 21, 2006.
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Thousands of people are dead or wounded after an earthquake destroyed the city of San Francisco. Most of the city’s buildings collapsed and are now in flames. Smaller buildings were mostly made of wood and also have gone up in flames. The fires cannot be extinguished because the city’s firefighters have been buried. All communication to the city has been cut, and news of the disaster coming from Los Angeles and Denver indicates that the damage is far worse than initially thought. However, it is still unclear, because nothing has been heard out of San Francisco since the quake hit.


Jewish baseball fans are thrilled with the Brooklyn Robins’ latest sensation, Al Cohen, the son of a Newark, N.J., rabbi. An outfielder who just came up from the minor leagues, Cohen was no more than a benchwarmer until Coach Wil Robinson put him in for the famed “Babe” Herman, who has had a run of fielding errors as of late. Cohen played such a good game against the Boston Braves that the Irish fans who packed the bleachers were screaming, “Atta boy, Cohen!” in unison. Jewish fans, in the meantime, are looking forward to having Cohen as a regular player on the team.

New York real estate speculators are currently saying that the Lower East Side, the impoverished Jewish ghetto, one day will be home to millionaires. No one can predict when — some are saying in 20 years, others 50, some even say in 100 — the neighborhood will be one of the most desirable in New York City. People also say that 100 years from now, all people will love each other, poverty and disease will be eradicated and there will be no sadness in the world. It therefore seems ridiculous that the Lower East Side, with its tenements, street peddlers and petty criminals, will become a home to Wall Street millionaires.


As revelations continue to pour out of the Soviet Union about the crimes of Stalin and the destruction of Jewish life, news has come from Moscow that 20 Jews have been tried and convicted of the crime of spreading illegal Zionist literature and of having in their possession foreign newspapers in Hebrew and in Yiddish. Arrested last summer, the 20 Jews were finally sentenced last week to prison terms ranging from three to 10 years. While it seems that other Soviet nationalities have been given a modicum of freedom in the wake of Stalin’s death, the Jews continue to be oppressed by the Soviet regime.

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