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Culture

Looking Back: April 13, 2012

100 Years Ago in the Forward

When Sarah Ehrlich arrived at her Bronx home, she heard a noise in the upstairs bedroom. Fully aware that no one in her family should have been home at the time, she realized that it must have been a burglar. “Who’s there?” she yelled. A voice called out from upstairs: “Ma’am, I came to collect a debt and found no one at home. I was looking for this house’s residents.” Ehrlich, who is in her 60s, grabbed a revolver and said: “I’ve got a gun. Come downstairs and drop the bundle. If you don’t do exactly as I say, I’ll shoot.” Terrified, the thief, who was actually quite a large man, came down the stairs and dropped the bundle, which contained the Ehrlichs’ silver goods and some expensive cut glass vases. With her gun in his back, Ehrlich marched the thief all the way to the local police station, where he was arrested. The police hailed Ehrlich’s courage — especially because it turned out the revolver she used was actually a toy gun.

75 Years Ago in the Forward

The Polish government has confiscated the recent Polish edition of I.J. Singer’s book “The Brothers Ashkenazi.” The book, which has chapters detailing a vicious pogrom perpetrated by the Polish military in Lemberg in 1919, also contains accounts of how the Ashkenazi brothers were abused by Polish officers. When the book was published in serialized form two years ago in the Yiddish daily Haynt and the Polish-Jewish daily Nasz Przeglad, the Polish government censor removed the offending chapters. The Yiddish book version had those same chapters removed. With full knowledge of this, the Polish-language publishing company Brzoza attempted to publish the full book, but to no avail.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

Israeli sources have indicated that if Saudi Arabia shoots at Israeli ships in the Gulf of Aqaba, as it’s threatening to do, it can expect Israel to respond in kind. Recent Saudi threats to attack Israel’s ships in the Gulf are being taken seriously, especially in consideration of Israel’s present crisis with Jordan, which is currently unable to field a working government. It is not clear whether King Hussein will choose Western-oriented parties or Egypt/Soviet-oriented parties to form a government. Israel’s worries stem from the fact that if the king chooses the Egyptian orientation, there will be Egyptian-controlled armies on three sides of the country. The Israelis claim that if the Americans were to support Hussein, he would be more apt to form a pro-Western government.

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