Conductor of Israel National Opera Guilty of Nazi Collaboration

German Newspaper Calls Roosevelt Jewish Pope

Honored Visitor: (Left to right) Judge Jacob S. Strahl, Rabbi Chaim Auerbach and New York Mayor Joseph McKee at a City Hall reception honoring Rabbi Auerbach, founder of Cabbala University in Jerusalem.
Forward Association
Honored Visitor: (Left to right) Judge Jacob S. Strahl, Rabbi Chaim Auerbach and New York Mayor Joseph McKee at a City Hall reception honoring Rabbi Auerbach, founder of Cabbala University in Jerusalem.

By Eddy Portnoy

Published February 04, 2014, issue of February 07, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

1913 •100 years ago

Rebecca Edelman Steals a Hat

Thirty-year-old Rebecca Edelman, a resident of the new Jewish town of Boro Park, in Brooklyn, was in Manhattan and needed to take a Third Avenue tram. As she entered the car, she went to throw a dime into the change box. She missed, and the dime fell into the floor grate. Since a tram ride costs only 5 cents, Edelman asked the conductor for her change, a nickel. Having seen her miss the box, the conductor told her that because she didn’t actually pay, she couldn’t get back her change. Incensed, Edelman grabbed the conductor’s blue cap, slipped it into the folds of her skirt and jumped off the tram. The conductor gave chase and, in fact, caught her. He demanded his cap back, but she refused. He had Edelman arrested, and although she wasn’t charged, the judge gave her a good chewing-out, warning her not to steal conductors’ caps.

1938 •75 years ago

Roosevelt Is the Jewish Pope

“The Jewish Pope Roosevelt,” is how the Nazi newspaper Essener Nationalzeitung is referring to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The paper, which is controlled by German Field Marshal Hermann Goering, gave Roosevelt the “Jewish Pope” appellation because of the fact that the Jewish youth organization Young Israel dedicated a Torah to him in recognition of his leadership, humanitarianism and defense of human rights. The same paper headlined an article about the sale of 600 airplanes to France as “The Dark Machinations of the American President.” Another Nazi newspaper, Das Schwarze Korps, took Roosevelt to task for his anti-Nazi stand, making the claim that the United States was in cahoots with the Soviet secret services to wreak terror in Puerto Rico.

1963 •50 years ago

Collaborator Found Guilty

In a Tel Aviv courtroom, Hirsch Barenblat, the conductor of the Israel National Opera, was found guilty on charges of collaborating with the Nazis. According to testimony, Barenblat, who was head of the Jewish police in Bendzin, Poland, during the war, turned over Jews to the Nazis for execution. Barenblat arrived in Israel in 1958. When a former Bendzin Ghetto resident recognized him while he was conducting an opera, Barenblat was arrested. The court determined that he was charged in 1942 with making sure that Jews selected for the death camps did not escape or sneak in with the group selected to live. By participating in this activity, Barenblat was responsible for helping the Nazis. Last August he was cleared of the charges.


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!
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • 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.