A Shooting After a Shvitz in a Lower East Side Bathhouse

From Buchenwald to New York

Out to Space: Dr. Joseph Kaplan, a Hungarian born, Jewish astrophysicist, was active in the United States Satellite Project creating the first American satellite to orbit earth. He also founded the Institute for Geophysics at the University of California.
Forward Association
Out to Space: Dr. Joseph Kaplan, a Hungarian born, Jewish astrophysicist, was active in the United States Satellite Project creating the first American satellite to orbit earth. He also founded the Institute for Geophysics at the University of California.

By Eddy Portnoy

Published March 15, 2014, issue of March 21, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

1913 •100 years ago

Shooting in the Shvitz

Isaac Schwimmer, a civil engineer who lives on East 7th Street, was taking a shvitz in the Turkish baths on Third Street near Avenue A. Apparently overcome by the heat, Schwimmer fell asleep in the steam room. He awoke to find his diamond ring missing. Furious, he accused Spunky Congers and Louis Bernstein of stealing his ring while he was asleep. The two men claimed not to know anything about it. Schwimmer called the police and told them the story after they arrived, demanding that the officers arrest Congers and Bernstein. But without any evidence, it wasn’t possible to make an arrest, and the two men were told they could leave. Unable to control his anger, Schwimmer pulled out a revolver and shot them. Both were rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where the doctors said they would almost certainly die of their wounds. Schwimmer was placed under arrest.

1938 •75 years ago

Viennese Composer Kisses the Ground

Kissing New York’s ground after disembarking from the ship, “City of Baltimore,” the famed Viennese composer Hermann Leopoldi said: “How thrilled I am, how happy! Here I can breath freely. In Germany everyone carries a weapon in hand.” Leopoldi was one of the most well-known and successful composers of popular song until the Nazis took over Austria last year and he was forced to stop working. He was arrested and sent to the Dachau concentration camp for four months. He was later transferred to Buchenwald, a different concentration camp, for another five months. Leopoldi’s wife and daughter, who had arrived earlier, met him at the port. The family will settle in the Bronx.

1963 •50 years ago

Shocking Testimony in Auschwitz Trial

According to a witness at the ongoing “Auschwitz trial” of Nazi criminals in Frankfurt, West Germany, prisoners were sometimes made to sing and dance before being sent to the gas chambers. The witness, Herman Biermanski, was a political prisoner who fought against Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War. He was first arrested in Berlin in 1940 and placed in a cell with one Wilhelm Boger, who was in jail for theft. Boger is one of the Nazis currently on trial in Frankfurt. During his testimony, Biermanski pointed out Boger as one who forced dozens of Gypsies into the gas chambers. He testified that he saw Boger shoot victims at close range, including a German woman who had been married to a Jew.


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!
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • 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.