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July 6, 2007

100 Years Ago In the Forward

Louis Bernstein, a doctor formerly in the employ of New York’s Beth Israel Hospital, arrived at the editorial offices of the Forward this week, clutching an open letter to the directors of the hospital. In the letter, Bernstein charged that the hospital’s patients were mistreated in such a manner that he was forced to take action. Among his complaints were that patients were frequently denied medicine, that they often went hungry or thirsty and that some long-term patients weren’t bathed for months at a time, some of them dying because of the lack of good hygiene. With this letter, Bernstein hopes to initiate a campaign to get the hospital to make serious changes.

75 Years Ago In the Forward

A secret Nazi document has been uncovered and published in the German newspaper Die Welt am Montag. According to the document, if the Nazis receive a parliamentary majority in the upcoming elections, they plan on confiscating the property of all Jews, including those born in Germany. In addition, the Nazis have plans to create “concentration camps,” where “useless” citizens will be held under arrest.

The Prussian Senate passed a bill that would allow the state government to confiscate the property of Eastern European Jews residing in Prussia. The fascist and communist parties voted together to pass this antisemitic bill; the socialist parties voted against it.

50 Years Ago In the Forward

The Munich office of the Joint Distribution Committee is full of sad Jews who have come there for advice, financial aid or help finding relatives in the United States or elsewhere. Suddenly, the door swings open and in walks a middle-aged German man. When the Jews in the office see him, they jump up and surround him, some hugging him, some kissing him, others warmly shaking his hand. The head of the JDC office, Sam Haber is confused. “Who is this guy?” he asks. “You don’t know who this is?” someone asked. “His name is Oskar Schindler, and he is a German that saved us and protected us along with hundreds of other Jews during the war.”


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