100 Years Ago in the Forward: “I beg of you, tell everyone, I never bought a revolver on that day and I was never even near that pawn shop,” Harry Rosenzweig told the assembled journalists of the Yiddish press just before he went before a Philadelphia grand jury on the charge of murdering his boss, cigar magnate Harry Victor.
100 Years Ago in the Forward: The recent uprisings in Turkey have included a number of Jewish activists, among them those who have supported the old regime of Sultan Abdul Hamid and those who have fought against it.
100 Years Ago in the forward: Oy, if only Mendel Weinstock had taken our advice, everything probably would be okay. Not long ago, 19-year-old Weinstock opined, in a letter to our Bintel Brief advice column, that he had ended up in the hospital as a result of a love affair gone bad. According to the letter, Weinstock had fallen in love with a girl in his shtetl, but economic circumstances forced him to come to New York, where he was forlorn and lonely. Eventually, however, his shtetl-love followed him here, and the couple made plans for marriage. But the evil sister of Weinstock’s girlfriend began to interfere, and convinced her sibling that she could do better than a lowly tailor. As a result, Weinstock was dumped. He wrote to us for advice, and our response to his letter was for him to calm down and let his girlfriend think about it: If she truly loves him, she’ll return to him. But Weinstock couldn’t calm down, and he ended up tragically shooting both the girl and himself.
100 Years Ago in the forward: An unusual blood-libel report has reached us from Brisk, Russian-ruled Poland, where a local tailor had taken in a Christian man as a boarder. Apparently, the young Christian initiated a love affair with the tailor’s wife, and when the tailor found out about it, he arranged for three butcher friends of his to come over and force the non-Jew out of his house. But the tailor’s wife discovered the plan and went to the police, whom she told that her husband and his butcher friends planned to kill their boarder and use his blood to make matzot. With this information, the police staked out the home of the tailor. When the tailor and three butchers walked in, they were all arrested. But when explanations were given at the stations, all were set free.
If ever there was a shining light in the depressing darkness of Ellis Island, it was Alexander Harkavy, a brilliant, highly educated man whose love for humanity could be seen in a place where people have no value.