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March 28, 2008

** 100 Years Ago in the forward**

For the first time in its history, the Forward has printed an English editorial on its front page. It has to do with the story of Lazarus Averbuch, a young Jewish immigrant from Russia who was shot to death by Chicago Chief of Police George M. Shippy. According to the “official” version of the tragedy, Averbuch was an anarchist terrorist who had intended to assassinate the chief. Averbuch showed up at Shippy’s home and handed him a letter. Instead of accepting it, Shippy threw himself on Averbuch, who took out a knife and a revolver and began stabbing and shooting. In the melee, Shippy drew his own revolver and shot Averbuch, killing him. This version of the story — the chief’s version – was accepted without question. Truth is, Averbuch, who was only 18 years old, wasn’t an anarchist and didn’t speak but a few words of English. Shippy, it seems, has some questions to answer. His behavior constitutes real anarchism.

75 Years Ago in the forward

Since the Nazis have taken power, Germany has quickly devolved into a dictatorship. This week, two high-ranking social democrats were imprisoned, without a trial, on the amorphous charges of “treasonous activities.” These “activities” included fomenting war between Germany and France, based on the allegation that the two threw stones at the French embassy in Berlin. In related events, more than 1,500 Polish Jews fled Germany and returned to Poland. Among them were some 100 Russian Jewish families who desperately wanted to leave Germany but were turned back at the Polish border because they did not have visas allowing them to enter Poland. They also have no way to return to the USSR. As attacks on Jews continue to escalate in Germany, famed German Jewish scientist Albert Einstein, who is visiting the United States, announced that he refuses to return to Germany as long as Hitler remains in power.

50 Years Ago in the forward

A rumor surrounding Egypt’s anticipated declaration of Gaza as a Palestinian state is that Egypt is planning to appoint former mufti of Jerusalem Hajj Amin El-Husseini president of the new country. In Israel’s view, this would be a provocation that might end in violent action on the part of the Jewish state. El-Husseini is notorious in Israel for having instigated anti-Jewish riots during the British Mandate. He also allied himself with the Nazis and spent much of World War II in Germany as a guest of Hitler. In the meantime, the Israeli government refuses to address this issue officially.

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