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Culture

Looking Back: April 20, 2012

100 Years Ago in the Forward

Fifteen minutes after the end of a matinee performance of “Her First Child,” Liptzin Theater manager Michael Mintz committed suicide on the theater’s stage. Mintz had been helping his wife, famed actress Kenny Liptzin, prepare for the evening performance of “Mirele Efros” at a theater in New Jersey. He had put her in a car and told the driver where to take her, when he remembered that she would need paper money as a prop. He returned to the Liptzin Theater’s dressing room to find a bundle of stage money. When he got backstage, he bumped into the company’s costume designer, Annie Perlman, whom he yelled at for leaving on the lights. He then went onstage, laid down on a prop bed and shot himself in the head.

75 Years Ago in the Forward

Famed German writer and exile Thomas Mann spoke before an audience of gentiles and Jews at an event that was organized by the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue and took place at Carnegie Hall. In his speech, Mann accused Hitler of deadening the German people’s brains with his anti-Semitic ideology and called for all people to fight against Nazism, adding that the battle against anti-Semitism should not be left only to othe Jews. Mann spoke about the important contributions Jews have made to German culture and stated that the Nazis were attempting to destroy the legacy.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

After rumors arose that Jewish refugees from Russia were being deported to the Soviet Union by the Polish government, a group of representatives from the Jewish Labor Committee met with Poland’s ambassador to the United States, Romauld Spasowski, who assured them that this was not the case. After the press published these deportation rumors, the JLC contacted the embassy in order to determine the truth of the matter. At that point, the ambassador himself invited the heads of the JLC to a meeting in Washington for discussions. In addition, the ambassador told them that Poland does not prevent Jews from emigrating — those who wish to leave are free to do so.

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