January 31, 2003

Published January 31, 2003, issue of January 31, 2003.

100 YEARS AGO

• The Essex Market Court was a full house after the police came out in force to arrest petty criminals on the Lower East Side. Among those in custody was one George Meyer, who was arrested on an accusation made by Harris Katz, who said that Meyer had shot at him with a revolver. But when Meyer was brought into court, Katz recanted, saying that he must have been sleepy when he originally accused Meyer. Meyer was thus freed, but Katz was fined $3 for the false accusation.

75 YEARS AGO

• You can hear them from Brownsville to the Bronx, from Harlem to Bensonhurst, complains a Forward letter-writer. Who? The Jewish noisemakers who come into the subways and talk nonstop. When you’re on the subway, exhausted after a long day of work, you want to try to relax during the ride home, maybe read the paper, but along come a couple of blabbermouths. And there’s no escaping them. You have to hear all about what’s going on in their houses, at their neighbors’ and at their butchers’, their rent, their mortgages, everything. If one of these nudniks came into my house, I would throw them right out.

• Before a hand-picked audience that included Sergei Rachmaninoff and Arthur Toscanini, Russian professor Leon Theremin astounded everyone with his playing of an electronic instrument that makes music out of thin air. The instrument, which is small box looks somewhat like a typewriter with antennae, was played by Professor Theremin, who simply waved his hands around it and never even touched it. It produced amazingly rich, full sounds never before heard. Like a magician, Theremin brought music out of his remarkable electronic box.

50 YEARS AGO

• In light of the Jewish doctors under arrest in Moscow, Joseph Stalin has called for all Jewish doctors in the entire Soviet bloc to be suspended. It has also been reported that more than 700 Jews have been arrested in Czechoslovakia and 1,800 in Poland. Additionally, more than 1,100 Jews were arrested in Austria and deported to Czechoslovakia. A Jewish refugee from East Germany reported that Jewish soldiers serving there had been recalled. Over the past six weeks, nearly 500 East German Jews have escaped to the West, fleeing communist antisemitism.



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