Looking Back: June 29, 2011

50, 75, 100 Years Ago in the Forward

Published June 21, 2012, issue of June 29, 2012.
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100 Years Ago

1912 A gang of Italians held a pogrom in Manhattan, on 114th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues, during which two Jews were shot and grievously wounded. Both victims, Morris Stromberg and George Pollack, are in critical condition in Harlem Hospital. The previous evening, Pollack, his wife and the couple’s 14 month-old baby were sitting in chairs on the sidewalk when an egg truck manned by three Italians drove by and splashed the Pollacks with dirty water from the gutter. When George Pollack yelled at them to be careful, they stopped and threatened the Pollacks, telling them they’d “be back.” A half-hour later, a gang of about 10 Italians armed with knives, sticks and bottles arrived and began attacking all the Jews on the street. After a few minutes of fighting, shots rang out and Stromberg and Pollack fell to the ground.

75 Years Ago

1937 According to our correspondent, anti-Semitic attacks in Italy began in earnest only about six months ago, when the editor of the official fascist party newspaper published an attack. “You, Italians of the Jewish persuasion,” he wrote, “you can only be Italian — you have no right to relations with Jews of other countries, who are fanatically opposed to fascism, who have links to communists, Masons and other international groups who battle against Mussolini….” He added that Italian Jews are not permitted to support Zionism, as they cannot be citizens of both Rome and Jerusalem, a fact that would make them bad citizens and traitors to Italy and fascism.

50 Years Ago

1962 Brutal attacks on Jews in Argentina are continuing apace in the wake of the Eichmann execution. Among the recent attacks are one on 18-year-old Ricardo D’Alessandro, who was beaten and held down by vicious hooligans who carved swastikas into his cheeks and forehead. A Jewish girl from Buenos Aires was also badly beaten. The girl was burned with cigarettes and had a swastika carved into her chest. As a result of these attacks, Argentine Jews held a protest strike, stopping work and closing their shops at 2 p.m. in order to bring attention to these brutal acts. Many gentile-owned shops in Jewish neighborhoods also closed to show solidarity with their Jewish neighbors.


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