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October 29, 2010

100 Years Ago in the forward

When Joseph Prager broke into the Beyz Yankev Synagogue in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn at dawn, he didn’t anticipate any resistance. After breaking a cellar window, Prager stole whatever he could, putting everything in a large sack. But Rabbi Rabinovitz and his shamus, Samuel Press, caught him in the act and told him to put down everything. Prager, a large, sturdily built man, put down the sack of stolen goods and began to beat the rabbi and the shamus, leaving them writhing on the floor. At that moment, a group of women walked into the synagogue and, seeing what had happened, jumped on the thief. They held him down until the police arrived. Prager told the police that if they let him go, he would never rob another synagogue

75 Years Ago in the forward

Two Jewish gangsters recently met violent ends. The brutally hacked up body of Louis “Pretty” Amberg, a gangster from the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, was found tied up in a burning car in Brooklyn. Albert Stern, a member of his gang who apparently turned against Amberg, is suspected to have killed the gangster. Amberg is thought to have participated in at least seven murders over the past two months. Of Amberg and his brothers, he is the third to meet a violent end at the hands of the underworld. A fourth brother has disappeared.

Arthur Flegenheimer, better known as “Dutch Schultz,” was also gunned down, in a Newark, N.J., steakhouse. Renowned as the “Beer Baron of the Bronx” and as a major player in the criminal underworld, Schultz was killed along with his bodyguards, Otto Berman and Leo Frank. Just a half-hour after the Newark murders, two of Schultz’s gang members, Martin Krompier and Sammy Gold, were shot in their chairs in a Manhattan barber shop. Although Schultz had always identified as a Jew, he made a deathbed conversion to Catholicism, saying, “I want to die a Catholic.”

50 Years Ago in the forward

As a result of Israel’s success in improving relations with countries in Africa and in South Asia, the Arab League has decided to open an “anti-Israel” office in New Dehli in an attempt to combat Israel’s influence in that part of the world. India has known about these plans for a number of years, and finds it acceptable that such an office will be open. As is well known, India initially recognized Israel, but the two countries have not opened diplomatic relations, and India can be seen as somewhat hostile toward Israel. On the other hand, India’s neighbor, Nepal, recently established diplomatic relations with Israel, with its president having made a very successful visit to the Jewish state.


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