May 23, 2003

100 YEARS AGO

• Following the recent pogroms in Kishinev, fear has engulfed the Jewish communities of the Russian empire. Last week, more than 35,000 Jews were expelled from the city of Kiev. In response, groups of brave, young Jews in Kiev, Tiraspol, Odessa, Ekaterinoslav and other cities have secretly armed and dispersed themselves in order to engage in an uneven battle for the lives of their brothers and sisters. These heroic young Jews are most likely members of the great socialist organization that calls itself the Bund.

75 YEARS AGO

• Louis Fabrizio, a 33-year-old gangster known in the underworld as “Louie the Wop,” was gunned down yesterday on the corner of Avenue B and 2nd Street. The 19-year-old George Schwartz, who lives on East 7th Street, was charged with the murder. Louis the Wop, a lieutenant in Little Augie’s gang, was the third gangster killed this week on the Lower East Side. According to Schwartz, who brought Louie the Wop to Bellevue after the shooting, a taxi pulled up next to Fabrizio as he was changing a tire. Four passengers got out and started shooting him. Fabrizio’s brother, Andrew, who was with him during the attack, said he did not see the shooters’ faces. The taxi driver, who showed up at the precinct later that day, said that the four shooters had gotten in the cab on 14th Street and told him to follow Fabrizio’s car. The police say that these are the results of a war between three different East Side gangs for control of the territory.

• The Jewish quarter of the Soviet town of Kutais, in Georgia, was destroyed by fire this week. Some 22 Jews were killed, and 300 were wounded. Some 359 houses were burned to the ground, leaving roughly 6,000 Jews homeless. Appeals have been made to the Soviet government to relocate the victims. Many, it is said, are slated on the Crimean peninsula.

50 YEARS AGO

• Roughly 200 Muslim youths armed with iron bars attacked Tunis’s Jewish quarter. Young Jews quickly banded together to protect their neighborhood, and a battle quickly ensued. After a half-hour of fighting, the police arrived and restored order. A number of both Arabs and Jews were wounded. Ten people were arrested. It is being said that the young Arabs were goaded into attacking the Jews by the anti-Jewish propaganda being published in the conservative newspaper, Al-Zohra. Jews and Arabs are generally said to have had good relations prior to this.

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May 23, 2003

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