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Looking Back: November 4, 2011

100 Years Ago in the Forward

Joseph Pulitzer, famed publisher of the New York World and the St. Louis Post Dispatch, has died. Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1847 to Jewish parents, Pulitzer arrived in the United States during the Civil War, 18 years old and penniless. Although he didn’t know a word of English, he joined the Union Army and fought in a number of battles with a regiment of German-speaking immigrants. As a result, he still didn’t speak a word of English by the war’s end. Afterward, he worked at a number of different jobs while attending night school to learn English. From New York he moved to St. Louis, where he began reporting for a German-language newspaper. He eventually bought the St. Louis Post Dispatch, sold it for a profit and then moved back to New York. There he bought the New York World, which he transformed into the best-selling newspaper in the country.

75 Years Ago in the Forward

Reports from Cairo indicate that a number of Jews were killed and wounded when a Muslim mob attacked the Jewish quarter of Baghdad. The situation in Iraq has been no less chaotic over the past month, as a result of a military putsch that has taken place. The country’s Jews, who mainly live in Baghdad, are bearing the brunt; however, other reports say that despite the chaos that has engulfed the country, Jews have not been singled out for attack. In fact, it is expected that the rulers who will be replacing those recently deposed will treat the Jewish community better than the previous government had. What is known is that Baghdadi Jews do fear the rising influence of politicized Islamic groups.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

A number of terror attacks have been perpetrated on Jews in Algeria. An employee of the synagogue in the casbah of Algiers by the name of Yosef Peretz was shot in the neck and killed as he left his home. Apparently, a Muslim wanted to take over the home from Peretz, who refused to allow this. Over the past week, 50 bombs have been thrown in Algiers; 20 of them were directed at Jewish targets. The leader of the Algerian Zionist Federation, A. Zafran, was forced to leave the country after numerous threats had been made against him. The situation for Jews in Algeria continues to worsen, and as a result, many are emigrating.

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