August 19, 2005

100 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

In the wake of continuing unrest in Russia, and amid calls for democracy, Tsar Nikolai has begun to make noises about reforms. This is connected to a plan for wealthy Jews to provide huge loans to the Russian monarchy. Europe’s most important Jews are universally against such a plan to “buy” Jewish rights in Russia. The Bund has vociferously attacked Jewish bankers who would attempt to participate in such a deal, and says the government probably will respond with pogroms. In related news, 40 Jews were killed in a pogrom in Bialystok.

75 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

This week, Romanian antisemites burned the famed grand synagogue in Maramures Sighet. The synagogue’s Jews ran en masse to try and put out the fire, but failed. Some also ran in to try and save the Torahs, but found them torn apart and destroyed. It was said that gasoline fumes were noticeable, an indication that arson was the source. The synagogue was destroyed completely. In related news, Romania’s fascist Iron Guard set fire to the synagogue of the Viszhnitser Rebbe, destroying the entire building.

New York dress manufacturer Murray Posner was apparently so taken with actress Helen Kane — better known, perhaps, as the “Boop Oop a Doop Girl” — that he gave her a gift of $40,000 cash. The problem was that the money came from the account of his company, The Bond Dress Company, which has debts of more than $325,000 and assets of only $200,000. So a New York judge slapped a court order on Ms. Boop Oop a Doop’s bank account, warning her not to touch the 40 grand given to her by Posner. The Bronx-born Kane said she did not have the $40,000 and barely even knows Posner.

50 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

A stormy House Un-American Activities Committee hearing was held yesterday in the courthouse on New York City’s Foley Square, regarding theater actors and their connections to communism. The first witness, Lou Polen, star of the Broadway show “Bus Stop,” condemned the hearing as an inquisition, and his action was applauded vigorously. The rest of the witnesses, all stars of television, film and Broadway, were equally as obstinate as Polen. Most refused to testify and did not even taken advantage of their Fifth Amendment rights, even when the chairman warned them that they would be held in contempt.

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August 19, 2005

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