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September 25, 2009

100 Years Ago In the Forward

The following is an excerpt from Moyshe Olgin’s review of Dovid Bergelson’s debut novel, “At the Station”:

“Dovid Bergelson? Who’s ever heard of him? Suddenly and unexpectedly he appears with a new piece in the collective treasury of our literature. ‘A new book has appeared — an entire kingdom, a small world, ringing with feeling, sights and voices.’ I can’t stop thinking of this quote by Knut Hamsun when I think of Bergelson’s book. A wonderful world. A wonderful, unique world. Who of us has never seen the station, the typical red station a few miles from the shtetl? Who wasn’t familiar with the group of salesmen who hung around? A dry bit of life, dried-up people, it seems. God’s eye never looked upon them with love or mercy and the dew of poetry never shined there.”

75 Years Ago In the Forward

Hitler’s top priest, Bishop Ludwig Muller, gave a speech in Hanover, Germany, during which he said that the Jews must be destroyed. He also called for a campaign to wipe out the Jews entirely. This was the first time that the Reich bishop, about whom there has been much worry in Germany, spoke in such a wild and provocative manner against the Jews. It is, apparently, not for nothing that he is one of Hitler’s closest friends. Another point the bishop’s speech touched on was the fact that Germany must free itself from the pope in Rome, an issue that upset many German priests. Muller also demanded that every priest in Germany become a member of the Nazi Party.

50 Years Ago In the Forward

Jewish groups such as the Jewish Labor Committee, the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, Culture Congress and Labor Zionists were preparing for a mass protest against the appearance in New York of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. They had been denied the possibility of meeting the Soviet premier as a united Jewish delegation. Aleksei Adzhukhey, editor of Izvestiia, the official Soviet press organ — and Khrushchev’s son-in-law — said that there would be no time for a Jewish delegation to meet with the premier. He added that there was no reason to ask questions of a specifically Jewish nature and that the issue of antisemitism in the USSR was Zionist and anti-Soviet propaganda.

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