Bertrand Russell Calls Out Nikita Khrushchev

Equal Rights for Romanian Jews, Gangster Shapiro Sentenced

50 Years Ago: Philosopher Bertrand Russell called out Nikita Khrushchev (above) for denying that there was anti-Semitism in the USSR.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
50 Years Ago: Philosopher Bertrand Russell called out Nikita Khrushchev (above) for denying that there was anti-Semitism in the USSR.

By Eddy Portnoy

Published June 15, 2013, issue of June 21, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Forward Looking Back brings you the stories that were making news in the Forward’s Yiddish paper 100, 75, and 50 years ago. Check back each week for a new set of illuminating and edifying clippings from the Jewish past.

100 years ago
1913

The American-Romanian Jewish Emancipation Committee held a gala affair at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, during which the tragic situation of Romanian Jewry was discussed. Among the patrons were a number of current and former congressmen. Among the matters up for discussion was the potential lobbying of European governments requesting that they pressure the Romanian government to give their Jewish citizens equal rights, which they are supposed to have had officially since 1878, when they were given civil rights alongside Christian citizens. But Romania’s government has never given the country’s Jews their rights, and instead continues to incite against them.

75 years ago
1938

Jacob “Gurrah” Shapiro was recently convicted on racketeering charges and sentenced to three years in jail and payment of a $15,000 fine. Judge Grover Moscowitz, who sentenced Shapiro, added that the gangster would first have to complete a previous two-year sentence for racketeering in the fur industry before he begins his latest punishment. Gurrah cried like a baby at the sentencing, screaming: “I was framed! They only think I’m a racketeer. I didn’t commit no crime! I’m an honest man. I pay my taxes — $30,000 to the government last year!” Gurrah’s protest was to no avail. At the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, the police cuffed him and sent him to prison.

50 years ago
1963

Eliezer Wiesel, the Forverts’s special correspondent, reports that the well-known English philosopher, Lord Bertrand Russell, published a copy of a letter he sent to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in which he inquired about the situation of Jews in the USSR. A copy of the letter was also sent to Isvestiya, the official Soviet news agency. In the letter, Russell stated that Khrushchev’s recent comments that there is no anti-Jewish discrimination in the USSR do not satisfy him. “There is absolutely no doubt that there is, in fact, anti-Jewish discrimination in Soviet Russia,” Russell wrote. “I am deeply worried about the status of Soviet Jews.” He also stated that he would continue to discuss the issue in public forums as long as Jewish culture in the Soviet Union is not rehabilitated.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.