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May 13, 2011

100 Years Ago in the Forward

Although all evidence in the shooting death of the well-known skin specialist Dr. W.R.C. Latson points to suicide, suspicion has fallen on the doctor’s secretary, 21-year-old Alte Marhelka. After Latson was found dead, the building’s janitor told police that Marhelka had been with the doctor earlier in the day. When the police caught up with her, she became hysterical upon hearing the news of the doctor’s death. In her statement, however, she said: “I am a Jewish girl. I want everyone to know what kind of relationship I had with the doctor. I was his secretary for six years. I loved him. We studied mysticism and Indian religion together. He was my guru.” The police are now determining whether to consider Marhelka a suspect.

75 Years Ago in the Forward

Despite a strict curfew, two Jews were shot dead in the Old City of Jerusalem, according to a British government communiqué. The report detailed a number of troubling incidents throughout Palestine — among them, shootings, stonings and arson. And one Arab was shot and killed by what was originally thought to have been a reprisal on the part of Jews, although the perpetrators were eventually discovered to have been Arabs. This shooting, which took place in the Jordan Valley, killed one man and injured another. British police were led to a nearby village, where they discovered the killers. The attack was apparently the result of anger at the fact that the victims had not abided by the general strike demanded by Arab leaders.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

Henriette Samuel, widow of Oslo’s former chief rabbi Julius Samuel, testified at the Adolf Eichmann trial on the heroic actions of the Norwegian underground during the Second World War. She and her three children were among thousands of Jews smuggled into neutral Sweden by Norwegian anti-Nazis. “You are sacks of potatoes,” they told the Jews as they smuggled them over the border. “Not one word.” Samuel’s testimony brought forth a few smiles in the courtroom, even from the accused. But Eichmann’s smile disappeared when she yelled “Murderer!” at him. Her husband refused to leave the members of the Jewish community still in Oslo and was eventually arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Auschwitz, where he perished.


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