December 15, 2006

100 Years Ago In the Forward

A cheering crowd of thousands of people eagerly greeted Russian Revolutionary hero Grigory Gershuni when he arrived in New York. Gershuni, a founder of the Socialist Revolutionary party, was also the founder of the Boyuvoya Organizatziye (Fighting Organization), a socialist militant group responsible for numerous assassinations of tsarist figures. Gershuni was arrested three years ago and sentenced to death, though the sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. Incredibly, Gershuni was smuggled out of prison in a barrel of cabbage and brought to the United States via China and the Far East.


75 Years Ago In the Forward

At a Muslim congress called by the grand mufti of Jerusalem, the Zionist Movement and the country of England were verbally attacked with particularly sharp language and also threatened with violence in a number of speeches by Muslim dignitaries. One speaker threatened pogroms against Jews if they did not stop their activity in Palestine. Said Bey Fabat, the delegate from Iraq: “If the Jews do not cease their activities in Palestine, we will be forced to treat them in a manner that is very familiar to them. We will permit the Jews to sit in their homes, but no more than that.” The conference delegates also proposed a boycott against all products made by Jewish-owned companies.

The Warsaw Jewish journalistic world is up in arms after the editor of the Polish-Jewish newspaper Nowe Slowo, Yosef Davidson, challenged one of the editors of the Yiddish paper Haynt, Shiye Gottlieb, to a duel. Both editors are active on Warsaw’s Jewish Community Council, the source of their dispute. At the most recent council meeting, Gottlieb called the council’s president, Mazur, “a fresh-baked Agudist,” in light of Mazur’s recent support for the initiatives of Agudas Yisroel. This upset the Aguda members of the council, who began yelling that Davidson was a “fresh-baked Zionist.” It ended up with Davidson and Gottlieb insulting each other, at which point the former challenged the latter to a duel.


50 Years Ago In the Forward

Stefan Orski, editor of the Polish communist daily Zycie Warszawy, has demanded that the names of Bundist leaders Henrik Erlich and Victor Alter be rehabilitated, saying that they were victims of a campaign of lies and slander. The two leaders of the Jewish Labor Bund were arrested in Poland in 1941 and subsequently murdered in a Soviet prison. “There is no doubt,” Orski wrote, “that Erlich and Alter were victims of a system of provocation and terror…. The most basic sense of justice in the interests of the international labor movement dictates that Erlich and Alter have their names cleared.”

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December 15, 2006

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