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May 6, 2011

100 Years Ago in the Forward

Reports have surfaced about a group of English archaeologists who have found the ark, the tablets and the menorah from the Second Temple buried in a secret underground location in the Old City of Jerusalem. A Swedish researcher who found a coded message in an ancient manuscript in Constantinople apparently was the one who discovered news of the location. The researcher informed his contacts in England, and they embarked on a project to find them. This secret project entailed getting the Turkish Sultan’s permission, bribing guards and digging an enormous tunnel to the secret location, which is now considered a holy place by Muslims. And when local Muslims discovered that a group of Englishmen tunneled into the area, they rioted and attacked the Turkish governor. But it was apparently too late, as the English had already made off with the goods.

75 Years Ago in the Forward

Jen Cohen, a 22-year-old Brooklyn resident, was arrested for the stabbing death of her Italian lover, 25-year-old Frankie DeBlassi, with a manicure file. A police spokesman said that Cohen murdered DeBlassi because he refused to marry her and that Cohen is currently pregnant with DeBlassi’s child. In court, Cohen wailed that she didn’t mean to kill him. She told a woeful tale of how she left her parents and family to be with DeBlassi and how she didn’t want her child to be a bastard. She began seeing DeBlassi when she was 16, and although her parents tried to convince her to break it off, she left home to live with him. Worse yet, he refused to work, and so she supported both him and herself on her $15-a-week salary from her job at an embroidery shop. Cohen is being held without bail.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

As Adolf Eichmann’s trial continues in Jerusalem, the court is met with frightening testimony regarding the horrifying acts of the accused and his henchman. Most recently, the court heard the testimony of Dr. Mark Dvorzhetski, who described how the Nazis transformed the woods outside Vilna into a massive grave for the city’s Jews. It is estimated that more than 40,000 of Vilna’s 65,000 Jews were systematically starved or murdered by the Germans. Dvorzhetski described how Jewish leaders thought that Ponar, the woods where the Nazis were bringing the Jews, was a work camp. Only when a woman who had been shot and survived by hiding under bodies returned to the ghetto to explain what was happening did he begin to understand.


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