April 15, 2011

Looking Back

Published April 06, 2011, issue of April 15, 2011.
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100 Years Ago in The Forward

“When you hear that the bosses of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory have been arrested,” a Forward editorial reads, “the first thing you feel is relief. Finally — all is not lost with the world. The heavy stone of pain that lies on our hearts from the bloody mass murder feels a bit lighter. The burning pain and sadness cools off a bit. This isn’t about revenge; this is about justice for 146 workers. The guilty must be punished strongly, and swiftly, in order to show other bosses that they cannot put the lives of those they have enslaved in peril. The bosses must be shown that they cannot snuff out workers’ lives so easily. But this will probably be drawn out over years. When will justice be served? When the workers take things into their own hands!”

75 Years Ago in The Forward

Anti-Semitism in Poland is growing by leaps and bounds. Stimulated by the Polish National Democrats and tolerated by the government, Jew hatred is fast becoming a national policy. With the economy in shambles, and unemployment at record highs, anti-Semitism has found fertile ground here in Poland. The situation appears to be even more perilous for Jews here than it is for those in Germany. It is estimated that nearly 2 million Poles are unemployed and all of them are easy prey for anti-Semitic propagandists who are blaming the Jews for their problems. The current government is pitiably weak and has been willing to tolerate the anti-Semitism of certain political parties in order to gain their support.

50 Years Ago in The Forward

The inside of the Israeli courthouse where the Adolf Eichmann trial is taking place does not betray the trial’s Jewish character. Certainly, there is the room dedicated for the hundreds of journalists who are covering the trial, which buzzes like a beehive, but it is really only outside the courthouse that the Jewish nature of the trial is exhibited, where one realizes that this is a trial of the greatest murderer in the history of the Jewish people. Each day, all kinds of Jews mill about on the narrow streets outside, from those with long peyes to completely secular Jews. They all offer their opinions. “I’d hang him today, the murderer, slowly, for my parents, for my children,” one woman said before bursting into tears and having to relive what she experienced in the Lodz Ghetto.

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