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 am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • "Jewish Israelis and West Bank Palestinians are witnessing — and living — two very different wars." Naomi Zeveloff's first on-the-ground dispatch from Israel:
  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • How do you make people laugh when they're fighting on the front lines or ducking bombs?
  • "Hamas and others have dredged up passages form the Quran that demonize Jews horribly. Some imams rail about international Jewish conspiracies. But they’d have a much smaller audience for their ravings if Israel could find a way to lower the flames in the conflict." Do you agree with J.J. Goldberg?
  • 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.