March 11th, 2011

100 Years Ago in the Forward

A sensational drama is occurring right now in Warsaw’s Yiddish theater — and it’s not onstage. Two major founders of Yiddish theater, a husband-and-wife team that is considered to be in the top tier of Yiddish actors, are currently embroiled in a scandal so intense that Warsaw’s Yiddish papers are refusing to print their names, even though everyone in town knows whom the papers are talking about. Together for almost 20 years, they worked through terribly difficult times and finally had reached a position of comfort and respect in the theater. But then, a 16-year-old “tsatskele” got cast as the love interest of the husband in this pair in a new drama. What happened? Naturally, the old man and the young girl fell in love. The old man dumped his wife of nearly 20 years and asked the 16-year-old to marry him. And he’d better not get cold feet: The 16-year-old has already warned him that she’ll throw herself off the top of a building if he dumps her. There’s always drama in the Warsaw Yiddish theater!

75 Years Ago in the Forward

The 7,000 Jewish families in Polish city of Pshitik are living in fear after a brutal pogrom was perpetrated against them. Two Jews were killed, the windows of nearly every Jewish home and shop were smashed, and about 35 Jews were badly wounded in the attack, with the rest of the community in panic. Small groups of young Jews attempted to fight the mob, but the police sequestered them, thereby giving the pogromists a free hand. Those who live on the outskirts of the city are moving into more heavily Jewish neighborhoods for protection. Polish policemen who are now armed to the hilt are patrolling the streets of the city.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

A 50-member commission that includes 20 police officers has been delegated by the German government to begin investigating and arresting Germans who were involved in the murders of Jews in Germany and in Eastern Europe during the war. It is well known that a large number of SS officers and Gestapo agents managed to obtain false passports after the war. Many of these murderers went into hiding and have changed their names. It is the duty of this commission to seek them out. While the committee was created two years ago, few arrests have been made. Recently, however, committee members have said that the public should expect a large number of arrests.

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March 11th, 2011

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