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February 22, 2008

100 Years Ago in the forward

The current economic crisis has been wreaking havoc on everyone and has hit schoolchildren especially hard. It is well known that many of them are not bringing lunch to school, because their parents can no longer afford it. Lorber’s restaurant on Grand Street in Manhattan is one of the places that offer free lunches to the children of the Jewish quarter between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. However, the hall where the lunch is organized can hold only a few hundred children, and when those who were left outside got scared that they wouldn’t receive any food, they began pushing, shoving and fighting among one another. The few policemen that were there to keep order pushed the kids to the wall when suddenly, Lorber’s giant plate-glass window was smashed. Hundreds of kids began climbing through the window. Once inside, they began grabbing food off the other children’s plates. In the one hour they were there, they consumed 800 rolls, 125 loaves of bread, several large pots of soup and a great deal of meat, among other items.

75 Years Ago in the forward

Isidore Wall, a 45-year-old Jewish restaurant owner from the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, was making sandwiches in the kitchen of his little restaurant on Pitkin Avenue when two crooks walked in and told the customers to put their hands in the air and be quiet. Wall walked out of the kitchen as the crooks were rifling through his customers’ pockets. He immediately ran back into the kitchen but was followed by one of the gunmen, who shot at him as he ran out the back door. Once outside, Wall began yelling for help as he climbed the fire escape, but another gunman came out and shot and killed him. The robbers got away in a taxi — with more than $100 in cash and jewelry.

Nazis are dissatisfied with the mere removal of Jews from public life and they will enact further legislation to oppress them, including the banning of kosher slaughter and special taxes that only Jews will have to pay. There has already been an attempt to legislate such special taxes, but other political groups opposed them. For the time being, Nazi stormtroopers have been told to cease their attacks on Jews; however, Jewish leaders feel that this is only a temporary measure to reduce criticism of the Nazis. The Nazi press, on the other hand, has been attacking the Jews relentlessly.

50 Years Ago in the forward

Thirty-four years after Nathan Leopold committed the “crime of the century,” the Illinois State Parole Board has paroled him. Under the philosophical influence of Friedrich Nietzsche, Leopold and his partner in crime, Richard Loeb, thought they could commit the “perfect crime”: They murdered 13-year-old Bobby Franks in 1924. Both murderers were exceptionally intelligent, but they were caught nonetheless. While in prison, Leopold continued to study. He also worked, during World War II, to find a cure for malaria. It is not known what Leopold plans to do once he is freed.

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