Forward Looking Back

100 Years Ago

Years ago, when we came over as immigrants and worked in factories, there was no such concept as corporate morality. Workers slept and ate in factories, which were sometimes dark, sometimes light — no one cared. People worked just to survive. Bit by bit, we developed specific industries and work became more secure. The work was diversified: men’s clothing, coats, cigars, houses, furniture, foodstuffs and so on. As time went on, more and more contractors, landlords, manufacturers and professionals began to crop up. Yesterday’s sweatshop work is today’s allrightnik. There is a relationship between the pressing iron and the traveling salesman, and between the sewing machine and the university. Yesterday’s immigrant who learned a trade is today’s cigar manufacturer. And this process goes on and on.

75 Years Ago

According to a report in the Lithuanian Nazi newspaper Memeler Dampfboot, the German army confiscated books from the Jewish-run Mapu Library in Kovno and burned them in a ceremony during which an orchestra played and German youth danced around the pyre. The same report claims that the Nazis also burned books from the famed Strashun Library, in Vilna. These books, according to an eyewitness, included about 1,000 copies of the most dangerous Jewish-Bolshevik books written by Jews, Russians and Germans, and also included translations by English and American communists. The rest of the famed libraries’ books are expected to be used for studying what they call “the secret Jewish literary underworld which has poisoned all peoples.” These materials were confiscated and will be shipped to a Nazi library in Frankfurt for further study.

50 Years Ago

Soviet authorities have decided to cancel a planned tour of performances in the USSR by the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. The Soviet chargé d’affaires in Israel, M. Yakushenko, informed the Eastern European Bureau of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. According to Yokushenko, the tour was canceled because of the wild anti-Soviet campaign currently being waged in Israel in regard to the status of Soviet Jews. The current situation of Soviet Jews is not thought to be good and is expected to worsen. A similar situation transpired last year, when the Israeli Philharmonic’s tour was postponed by the Soviet for four days because of the government’s inability to locate an appropriate venue. Ironically, Israeli criticism of Soviet treatment of Jews is milder than that which takes place in the West, in particular from progressive and communist parties. Meanwhile, Israelis say that the real reason the Soviets annulled the concerts was to put Soviet Jews in fear.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires 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 and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. 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 Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Forward Looking Back

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close