Looking Back: December 9, 2011
100 Years Ago in the Forward
One of the most important witnesses in the trial of Triangle Waist Company bosses Max Blanck and Isaac Harris is rag dealer Louis Levin, who would buy cloth scraps from the factory regularly. Levin informed the court that the last time he visited the factory was about two months before the fire, when he collected more than 2,0000 pounds of rags from the cutters’ floor. Levin’s testimony was very supportive of the defendants, so much so that upon cross-examination, it turned out that not only was Levin still collecting rags from Blanck and Harris’s factories, but he also had met with Blanck at a hotel the previous day. This information cast serious doubt on Levin’s reliability as a witness.
75 Years Ago in the Forward
A huge debate has erupted after our printing of a letter in our A Bintel Brief column from a man who decided to help out an old friend financially even though the friend had worked as a spy for the Russian tsar’s secret police. Letters have poured into our offices, proffering a wide array of views on the issue. Some say it’s okay, others say it’s criminal to help a criminal. One, for example, says: “This man deserves no help. For a lousy ruble from the tsarist government, he had people sent to Siberia, or even to the gallows.” Another writes: “Maybe this provocateur’s family was hungry.… maybe he’s already been punished enough. Helping him is no crime.”
50 Years Ago in the Forward
The infamous Saudi delegate to the United Nations Ahmed Shukeiri was unable to control himself again during a discussion regarding the situation of Arab refugees. Shukeiri, a close friend of the mufti of Jerusalem, attacked Israel, Zionism, Jews and Judaism with vicious words, and became furious whenever the Israeli delegate took the podium. Shukeiri’s outbursts have resulted in making him and the Arab delegations look bad in the eyes of other delegations. Even one of the heads of the refugee committee, Michael Camay, accused Shukeiri of demagoguery.