Looking Back

By Guest Author

Published July 07, 2006, issue of July 07, 2006.

100 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

Sources say that framed French colonel Alfred Dreyfus’s complete rehabilitation is expected. Not only will he be reinstated in the French army, but he also will be placed at a higher rank than the one he previously held. It is also rumored that he is to receive the Legion of Honor medal, one of the most prestigious awards in the French army. Dreyfus, who was convicted of treason and sentenced to life on Devil’s Island in 1894, was pardoned in 1899 after a prosecutor discovered that he had been framed. Though he returned to Paris immediately, it has taken seven years for him to be reinstated to his former post.


75 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

There is currently a war going on in the heavily Jewish town of Edenburg, which currently belongs to Hungary, close to the border of Austria. Not long ago, the town’s rabbi, Reb Moyshe Grinvald, passed away. Grinvald’s followers wanted his son, Reb Malkiel Grinvald, to succeed him. But a number of local bigwigs opposed the younger Grinvald because he resides in Vienna. A new rabbi, Shimen Posen, was hired. In response, Grinvald’s followers immediately set to work, opening up a new synagogue and study hall. They boycotted the new rabbi and duked it out in the synagogues and on the streets with his supporters. Exacerbating matters, the already famously violent Munkatcher Rebbe got involved, arriving in Edenburg and publicly cursing the deceased, Moyshe Grinvald. When young Malkiel Grinvald got wind of this, he wrote the Munkatcher a letter warning the Munkatcher Tsadik that he better say his prayers, because he was coming to town to send him into the world to come, an act that, he said, would be a great mitzvah. After receiving the letter, the Munkatcher handed it over to the cops. They promptly arrested Grinvald for making the death threat. A revolver was found in his house. Grinvald ended up getting sentenced to six months in a Viennese jail.


50 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

It is being reported that embittered Stalinists have begun a new wave of antisemitism in communist Poland. This is considered to be the worst wave of anti-Jewish activity since the Hitler period, and 50,000 Jews suddenly have left the Soviet bloc state. Reports include vandalism of synagogues and cemeteries, as well as attacks on Jewish students in schools. There was one report that a schoolteacher forced Jewish students to sit separately from Polish students. Another report, from Lodz, described how hooligans broke into a synagogue and tore up the Torah scrolls.



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