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, edifying and sometimes unusual clippings from the Jewish past.
1913 •100 years ago
Striker Killed in Philadelphia
The Jews of Philadelphia are furious and on the verge of rioting after a striking cloak maker by the name of Avrom Kaplan was shot and killed by an Italian scab while on the picket line. Exacerbating matters, the city’s English-language press has consistently supported the bosses against the striking workers and called the murder a case of self-defense, despite the fact that the police arrested two scabs armed with knives and revolvers. No weapons were found on the victim at all. The guilty parties in this situation are clearly the Philadelphia cloak manufacturers, who are hiring scabs and arming them with weapons. The mood among the strikers is one of anger and sadness: All the meeting halls and offices are covered in black in honor of Kaplan, their fallen comrade
1938 •75 years ago
After Murder, Man Eats Blintzes
Morris Gold, 46, was arrested and charged with murdering his wife, Julia Gold, who supported him financially. He told police that he lost control after his wife told him she would no longer give him any money. He grabbed a hammer and chased her around their well-appointed Brooklyn home, eventually catching her and beating her unconscious. Afterward, he allegedly left her lying there and went to a nearby restaurant to eat cheese blintzes, and then to a Turkish bath. Julia Gold was found at home with her skull smashed in, She was brought to Kings County Hospital, where she died. Morris Gold was initially charged with assault and battery, but because his wife eventually succumbed to her wounds, he was charged with murder.
1963 •50 years ago
Syrian Spies Busted in Israel
Three Syrian spies who apparently sneaked over the border from Lebanon were arrested in Israel when Israeli police discovered them hiding in an orange grove in the northern Galilee. All were heavily armed and carrying machine guns, grenades and revolvers. One of the three Syrians was born in British Mandate Palestine, speaks fluent Hebrew and is considered the leader of the group. He had spent some time in Israeli prisons for minor crimes and then was exiled from his village. Apparently he made his way to Syria, where he began engaging in underground activities. The police also arrested a number of local Arabs who were said to have aided the Syrians in some way. All are currently in prison, awaiting a trial that is expected to take place in a Haifa courtroom.