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May 14, 2010

100 Years Ago in The Forward

A group of mothers on Manhattan’s Lower East Side has approached the Forward. The ladies have asked that the paper help save their children from certain disaster. “Warn your readers,” the mothers told our reporter, “not to allow their children to go into moving picture houses by themselves. Our daughters were ruined. Other mothers should at least be able to prevent the tragedy that has befallen us.” With tears in their eyes, four mothers explained how their daughters had been seduced in a movie house and brought to a “school” on Sheriff Street run by “Melamed” Silver, who turned them all into prostitutes. While the actual moving pictures houses are not to blame, it is well known that many pimps and other unsavory characters hang around these places, looking for young women to prey upon.

75 Years Ago in The Forward

The trial of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” which has been taking place over the past two years in Bern, Switzerland, has finally come to a close. The Swiss court found two of the defendants guilty of disseminating libelous literature, but gave them light sentences. The court also determined that “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” which the Nazi defendants claimed had been written by Ahad Ha’am and appeared initially at the First Zionist Congress, was a forgery written by the Russian secret police and originally had nothing at all to do with Jews. The judge declared that according to Swiss law, all copies of the Protocols should be confiscated; however, such a confiscation was not ordered.

50 Years Ago in The Forward

Eleven letters written by Jewish military leader Shimon Bar-Kochba in the year 135 were found in a cave near the Dead Sea. This discovery has been hailed as one of the most significant archaeological finds in recent years. The letters, which deal with the Jewish rebellion against the Roman occupation, were found by a group of archaeologists led by Yigael Yadin, a Hebrew University professor, in the hills of Judah, where, according to tradition, Bar-Kochba’s soldiers led their final revolt against the Romans. It is known that these soldiers hid out in the caves that overlook the Dead Sea. Bar-Kochba had written the letters, which were on papyrus, to one of his generals.


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