Looking Back September 16, 2005

100 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

“The problem is that the bride is too pretty,” begins an editorial describing the English-language American press’s complaints about Jewish immigrants. Although some of the papers take on an allegedly friendly tone toward the Jews, they complain about how they excel in many aspects of life, from business to politics, and about the large number that have filled up universities recently. It is, in fact, quite amazing. According to population statistics, the Jewish to gentile student ratio of New York’s City College should be 8-to-1. Instead, for every non-Jewish student there are nine Jewish pupils.

75 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

It has been discovered that a Vienna-based business called The Soviet Mercantile Society, which ostensibly sells Russian antiques, has been selling off thousands of Jewish religious materials. These “Russian antiques” sold by the “kosher revolutionaries” of Soviet Russia, can be found in antique shop windows all over Vienna. They include such things as rare spice boxes, Torah crowns, Torah yads, menorahs, and other materials stolen from Russian synagogues and from private individuals in the Soviet Union.

A black cloud has suddenly darkened the skies of German Jewry. There is talk of pogroms: not if they will occur, but when. This fear has arisen from the new strength of the German fascist movement, the so-called National Socialists. The group says it will put a stop to reparations payments from the Great War and that it will take German money out of Jewish hands. It must be acknowledged that the movement is very well organized and has done an exceptional job stirring up interest for the current election. The basic antisemitism of its platform bodes terribly for the Jews of Germany, whose only hope is to achieve socialism.

50 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

When asked about Jewish life behind the Iron Curtain in an interview in Geneva, where he is attending a conference of European intellectuals, famed Soviet Jewish writer Ilya Ehrenburg said: “I am an assimilator. I don’t know Yiddish, and I believe that Soviet Jewry should be Russified.” In fact, it is well known that Ehrenburg, who headed the Jewish Antifascist Committee in 1942, speaks Yiddish perfectly. When asked about the condition of the Jews in the Soviet Union, he gave evasive answers.

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Looking Back September 16, 2005

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