Israeli troops celebrating their victory in the Six Day War.

How The Forverts Covered The Six Day War

Fifty years ago, the Six Day War was front page news on the Yiddish Forverts, which kept its readers abreast of developments mainly by reprinting wire service reports from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, declaring Israel’s “huge victories” as the war progressed.

With limited resources on the ground in Israel, the newspaper relied on its correspondent, Leib Rochman, to produce feature stories to augment the breaking news. Rochman, a Holocaust survivor from Poland who lived in Jerusalem, was known for his accounts on the Holocaust that seemed to meld fact and fiction, eerily mixing the dead with the living.

Covering the Six Day War, Rochman took a more reporterly approach, and focused one his main articles on the “leaders of the heroic Israeli army” in an article on June 6, 1967.

Rochman went into great detail in profiles of 10 members of Israel’s military brass, noting that while some were “sabras,” Israelis born in the Holy Land, others hailed from Europe, like Rochman himself — and the Forverts’ readers.

Depicting the personal stories of the Israeli responsible for the wartime success was no doubt a way to bring overseas readers closer to the action. As American Jewish anxiety gave way to relief and celebration at the end of the war, Rochman’s profiles serve as a kind of who’s who for the war that would define Israel until today.

You can find the article in full here.

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at zeveloff@forward.com or on Twitter @naomizeveloff

Author

Naomi Zeveloff

Naomi Zeveloff

Naomi Zeveloff is the Middle East correspondent of the Forward, primarily covering Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

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How The Forverts Covered The Six Day War

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