March 26, 2010

Looking Back

Published March 17, 2010, issue of March 26, 2010.
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100 Years Ago in the Forward

News has reached the Forward that a group of butcher shop bosses in the Bronx has conspired to do away with the union, and so the workers will be forced to go back to the old conditions of 18 to 20 hours per day. They will thus have to sleep in the shops and will have to accept payment once each month instead of each week. This organization of bosses has already fired 50 union men from their shops at the worst possible time — just before Passover. These religious bosses think that making the workers desperate for money just before a holiday will make them decide to quit the union and work as scabs. The Forward is appealing for working people in the Bronx to help out these 50 families with a donation.

75 Years Ago in the Forward

Famed German-Jewish writer, Lion Feuchtwanger, who has been exiled from Germany, has written a letter to one “Herr X,” the person who moved into his house after the Nazis confiscated it. He asks: “How do you like my house, Herr X? Are you comfortable? Did anything happen to the silver-grey carpets in the upstairs bedroom when the Nazis came and robbed me of all my possessions?… I’m curious to know what was done with the two rooms that comprised my library. I’m told, Herr X, that books are considered a forbidden thing in Hitler’s Germany… By the way, is our street still called ‘Mahler Strasse’? Or maybe the current dictator hasn’t yet realized that the composer Gustave Mahler was a Jew…”

50 Years Ago in the Forward

Who would have imagined that the 80,000-strong, deeply rooted, more than 2,000-year-old Egyptian-Jewish community would disappear from the earth almost completely? This terrible disaster occurred after England, France and Israel attacked Egypt in late October 1956. In mid-May 1948, when Israel declared its independence, Egyptian police began attacking Jewish homes all over the country and arrested more than 1,000 Jews. The first Jews arrested were leaders of organized Jewry: members of Zionist organizations, literary circles, sports clubs, the Boy Scouts. Arrests have continued to this day, decimating Jewish life. As a result, many Jews have left, and those that remain do not see much of a future.

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