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July 2, 2010

100 Years Ago in the Forward

When fire engulfed a sweatshop in the Division Street building on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, it was not known if all the workers had escaped. It turned out that the owners, brothers Morris and Wolf Shuman, were still inside, as were two female workers and a man known only as “Silverman.” Firemen who had gone to the roof of the building across the street saw the workers standing at the top-floor window of the building. Because the flames had already reached the upper floors, the firemen yelled for the remaining workers to jump, as that was their only way out. The girls jumped first, one after the other, and were caught by one of the firemen. The Shuman brothers also jumped and were caught. Silverman, however, was too scared to jump and was hanging onto the window ledge. The firemen managed to rescue him by ladder.

75 Years Ago in the Forward

Famous Jewish heavyweight boxer Max Baer, who fights with a Star of David on his trunks, has suddenly become a “frum Catholic.” But those who have seen him in this new role say that he’s a lot more comfortable in the boxing ring than in a church. The change of heart came as a result of his recent marriage to Mary Ellen Sullivan, a girl who happens to be a strict church-going Catholic. It wasn’t too comfortable for Baer when reporters asked him about his previous attendance in synagogue — in fact, he didn’t want to answer. But he said that the whole question of religion was a strange one, and that he promised his wife that he would do what she told him to do. And in this case, it apparently means being a Catholic.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

Since Israel’s capture of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann, Egyptian radio has been broadcasting antisemitic comments regarding the Jewish state. One of the broadcasts said, “Hitler understood that the Jews are the most vile creatures, and therefore decided to root them all out in order to cleanse the earth of them.” It is rumored that these antisemitic broadcasts are not of Egyptian origin, but have a source in the Nazis, who managed to escape Germany after the war and who were given refuge in Egypt. Moreover, these broadcasts are not only anti-Israel, but anti-Jewish, as well, and use the name “Cohen” as a replacement for “Jew.”

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