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April 13, 2007

100 Years Ago in the forward

Police arrested Sofia Rosenthal, a resident of Brooklyn, on the suspicion that something untoward occurred with the baby to which she recently gave birth. The infant has since gone missing, and Rosenthal claims that she has no idea what happened to it. In the meantime, a dead baby was found in Hoboken, N.J., stuffed into a paper bag on which was written, in Yiddish, “25 lbs. beans” and the address of a Brooklyn grocery store managed by Rosenthal’s sister. The police questioned the sister, but when they returned for a second questioning they found the store shuttered and were told the owners had gone on vacation.

75 Years Ago in the forward

It seems to be a fairly solid general rule that when an author writes a book’s introduction in which he boldly states that some of his best friends are Jewish, you can be sure that he is about to drag the Jews through the mud. This is essentially the case regarding Harvard professor William Ernest Hocking’s new book, “The Spirit of World Politics,” which is less about “world politics” and more about the role of Palestine in the world. Despite Hocking’s professed love for the Jews, he doesn’t like them as much as he likes the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who, he says, is one of the region’s great liberal minds and also has a great sense of humor. Hocking must not have been thinking about those pogroms that the grand mufti fomented in 1929.

Adolf Hitler’s “brownshirt” army was poised to stage a coup in Berlin just a few weeks ago. After Paul von Hindenburg beat Hitler by 7 million votes in last month’s election, an investigation was ordered into numerous offices of the National Socialists. Documents were discovered that prove that Hitler and a number of higher-ups in the German army had been planning a coup in which they intended to unseat Hindenburg. But due to Hitler’s serious loss in the election, the coup was called off — allegedly by Hitler himself — and his half-million brownshirts were forced to stand down.

50 Years Ago in the forward

Newspapers in Cairo, Egypt, are blaming this week’s suicide of Canadian diplomat Herbert Norman on “Zionists” who had attacked the ambassador because he was “pro-Arab.” Norman committed suicide by jumping to his death from his eighth-story Cairo apartment. Many are saying that Norman’s suicide is the result of information made public by the U.S. Senate, which claimed that he has longtime connections with American communists. These are not new charges: During the McCarthy era, Norman was also said to have such connections.

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