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February 12, 2010

100 Years Ago in the Forward

Police have arrested two seasoned criminals, Harry Meyers and Morris Zingenheimer, for the recent murder of New York City businessman Moses Gootman. Meyers, known as “The Chicago Kid” for having pulled off a major heist in that city, is also known for having been caught robbing apartments in a building on the corner of Ludlow and Broome streets in 1906. When police caught him in the act, he ran to the roof and jumped off, breaking both legs upon landing. He spent two years in Sing Sing for the robberies. When he was arrested this time, police found him with bite marks on his hand. He refused to say how he got them. Zingenheimer, who was arrested after police brought in Meyers, was found lounging in his apartment. Sitting on the table next to him were a set of skeleton keys, a large pack of pawnshop tickets and a revolver.

75 Years Ago in the Forward

The new racial laws in Germany have begat some unusual situations. A young woman who was, until recently, head of the Hitler-Madchen (Hitler Girls) Organization, quit her post because she fell in love with a Jewish youth. She has repented, and planned to marry her Jewish boyfriend. She even went so far as to go to the Berlin Zionist Organization to demand a certificate so that the she and her man could leave for Palestine. But as it turned out, she moved too quickly, because her boyfriend was a left-wing anti-Zionist. He was apparently not Jewish enough, so she dumped him. Die Stimme, Berlin’s Zionist newspaper, has published a number of these types of stories.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

The Soviet Union just published an addendum to a census that came out last year. The additional information is divided by nationality and contains some interesting statistics about the USSR’s Jews, who now total 2,268,000, dispersed over nine different republics. Russia had the most Jews, 875,000, with Ukraine and Belarus both having nearly the same number. Estonia had the least, with only 5,000. Interestingly, 500,000 Jews gave their mother tongue as Yiddish on the census applications. This came as somewhat of a surprise, considering the almost total lack of Yiddish cultural activity occurring in the USSR.

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