September 23, 2005

100 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

Officer Miller saw that a small crowd had gathered in Manhattan at the corner of Second Avenue and 2nd Street, despite orders by New York City’s chief of police that such gatherings not be permitted — particularly in bad neighborhoods like the Lower East Side. He told the group to break it up, prompting some of the hooligans to “teach the cop a lesson in manners.” One of them, Jacob Klein, began to smash the officer over the head with a block of wood. Some of the assembled women beat the policeman with the heels of their shoes. Shots rang out, more police appeared and the street filled with people as a riot ensued. When Miller came to, he got up and shot Jacob Klein. The man ran to Houston Street, where he collapsed. In the meantime, more police showed up and began to crack skulls. Among the arrestees were Sam Goldman and Max Grossman. Klein later died in Bellevue Hospital.

75 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

After attending his sister’s funeral, the only son of Theodor Herzl, founder of political Zionism, shot himself in his hotel room in Bordeaux, France. Forty-year-old Hans Herzl was found dead from self-inflicted gunshot wounds. He left a note indicating that he wanted to be buried in Vienna with his sister, Paulina, who had died a few days prior. The Austrian government initially said this might not be possible, since it was not clear whether Hans Herzl was an Austrian citizen. Eventually the government relented and Herzl was buried in Vienna’s Jewish cemetery in the same grave with his sister. This was allegedly the first time that someone who is a suicide victim and a convert was buried in the cemetery. The service was not religious and only one person from the Zionist movement showed up.

50 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

News has come from the USSR that famed Yiddish writer Moyshe Broderzon has been freed from prison camp in Siberia, together with his wife, Sheyne-Miriam Broderzon. It is also hoped that other Yiddish writers, from whom nothing has been heard for at least five years, will be freed from the Gulag and permitted to return to their homes. It is suspected that other writers have been freed, because the care package created for Broderzon by Yiddish theater actress Ida Kaminska contained more than enough items for a number of people. Broderzon, who escaped to the Soviet Union during World War II, disappeared in 1949 with a number of other Yiddish writers.

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September 23, 2005

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