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January 25, 2008

100 Years Ago in the Forward

Mamie Marcus has had a terrible life. She was born into an impoverished family in Boston 15 years ago, and her mother committed suicide when she was a baby. Marcus’s grandfather took her to Russia, where she lived a few good years until her grandfather, a widower, married a woman who hated Marcus and who beat her frequently. Her life was terrible, but hope sprang anew when an aunt in New York sent her a ticket to travel to America. Sadly, her life did not improve much in America, and she lived here in terrible poverty. On the brink of suicide, she wrote to the Forward’s Bintel Brief column, telling her story and hoping to find her father and the brother and sister she had heard about. Not only did Marcus receive replies from her family, but she also heard from simple strangers offering to help the poor girl.


75 Years Ago in the Forward

Four armed robbers broke into Avrom Broynshteyn’s Bronx apartment during a pinochle game being played by a group of 12 people. The thieves managed to rob the group of $150 cash and more than $2,000 worth of jewelry. When the robbers broke in, Broynshteyn’s wife began screaming. Alert neighbors called the police, who arrived just as the robbers were making their getaway. The police opened fire, and the robbers returned it in kind, causing a bloody firefight in which a number of the thieves were hit, although most of them appeared to escape. The one robber arrested at the scene was 32-year-old Bronx resident Daniel Arzak. Outside the building, the police found and arrested David Moltz, who had been shot in the chest and hand. They also found Herman Rozin, who had jumped out of the apartment window and broke both his legs. The last robber to be found, Irving Fink, was discovered hiding under a bed.


50 Years Ago in the Forward

New York City police arrested 20-year-old George Legett, the self-declared Führer of the Nordic Confederation of America, in his home in the Forest Hills section of Queens. Legett, who had been investigated previously by police and was judged by psychiatrists to be “normal,” was arrested with nine of his followers, all Queens high-school students, for planning a bank robbery. Legett told the police that he was thrilled with all the publicity his organization was receiving on account of the arrest and that it would bring in more members. A search of Legett’s home revealed Nazi-like propaganda, among which were plans to deport all American Jews to Israel.

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