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European Parliament Demands Soviet Union Give Jews Rights

1915 • 100 Years Ago

Forty-eight-year-old fruit peddler Israel Ziftz was cutting coconuts when the knife he was using slipped and wound up going directly into his chest. Ziftz, who lives in East Harlem, realized he was in trouble, and so he went hastily to Beth Israel Medical Center, where doctors quickly grasped that, with a wound directly to the heart, the patient’s life was in danger. A Dr. Goodman took control of the situation and put Ziftz on a combination of oxygen and ether. When Ziftz was unconscious, Goodman cut through his ribs in order to sew the wound on his heart closed. The quick-thinking doctor then closed Mr. Ziftz back up, allowing him to heal. In this way, the life of a simple peddler was saved by the medical staff of Beth Israel.

1940 • 75 Years Ago

Fights broke out in the audience during a newsreel at the Embassy theater on Broadway and 47th Street in midtown Manhattan. Two men who were recent émigrés from Sweden began to boo when the name “Adolf Hitler” was mentioned during one of the newsreel showings. Two other audience members protested, telling them to stop. One thing led to another, and the four began to throw punches. All were arrested and brought to night court. In a related matter, a riot nearly broke out in Columbus Circle after a man stood on a ladder and began praising Hitler and cursing America to a crowd of Nazi supporters. A woman by the name of Rose Greenberg protested loudly, after which she was punched in the face by another man. As the crowd grew, police moved in and arrested those involved.

1965 • 50 Years Ago

The European Parliament, at one of its regular meetings, approved a resolution demanding that the Soviet Union give its Jewish citizens cultural and religious rights. The resolution stated that “there is a European responsibility to the Jewish people” and that “cultural and religious rights should be given to the Jewish community, rights that are guaranteed to religious and ethnic groups by articles 123 and 124 in the Soviet constitution.” It also demanded that Jews have the right to open or reopen synagogues and be able to study traditional texts. Based in Strasbourg, France, the European Parliament comprises 21 countries and is meant to serve as the administrative center of a future united Europe.

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