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Looking Back: October 14, 2011

100 Years Ago in the Forward

Our latest hero is a 17-year-old sweatshop worker from Cleveland, Becky Fisher. During the 11-week-old cloak makers strike, Fisher has been arrested 39 times. She has been beaten by hired goons, cursed by the police and threatened by judges. Despite all that, she has consistently refused to back down. Since Fisher was only 7 when her mother died, she is the main means of support for her sick father and her younger brothers and sisters. For a week of backbreaking work, she receives a salary of $6 from the blood-sucking shop owners. So when Cleveland’s 6,000 cloak workers decided to go on strike for better wages and hours, she gladly joined them on the picket line. Who of you socialists, anarchists and radicals cannot be moved by this story?

75 Years Ago in the Forward

A gang of fascists attacked Jewish shops in London’s East End. While most police had been guarding a march of 5,000 communists through the neighborhood, fascist hooligans took the opportunity to throw bricks through shop windows, overturn peddlers’ carts and slash Jewish passersby with razors. One East End tailor was at work when suddenly, the fascist gang threw a Jew through his plate glass window, yelling in support of gang leader Oswald Mosley. Even though the rallying communists had more than 2,000 police protecting them, things didn’t end well there, either. Fascists showed up to taunt the marchers, and many fights broke out among them all.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

After a letter bomb injured a Damascus-based exporter by the name of Gerhard Fischer, it was determined that the victim was actually Alois Brunner, deputy to Adolf Eichmann and second in command of the Nazi project to exterminate the Jews of Europe. He was known among Nazis as “Brunner Number One,” in order to differentiate him from his brother, Anton Brunner, also one of Eichmann’s lieutenants. Anton Brunner was tried for crimes against humanity in 1946 in Vienna and was hanged. His brother was tried in absentia and found guilty of sending 48,000 Viennese Jews to the death camps, as well as for his role in the liquidation of the Jewish communities of Greece, Slovakia, France, Austria and Germany.

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