March 18, 2005
100 YEARS AGO
• One of the worst tragedies ever to strike Manhattan’s Lower East Side occurred yesterday at the corner of Allen and Delancey Streets. The heartbreaking wail of mothers looking for their children and of children searching for their parents mixed with tears, blood, fear and death as 20 bodies lay waiting to be identified at the Eldridge Street Station House. Details of the fire that broke out in the basement of the tenement house are as of yet unknown, although witnesses say that it took the firefighters at least 15 minutes to arrive on the scene. All the dead are Jewish women and children.
75 YEARS AGO
• The first victim of Police Commissioner Whalen’s campaign against “communists” is a Jewish student at City College. The dean of students, Daniel Raymond, expelled one Max Weiss for his activity in the Communist Party. Another 17 parents of New York City high school students received demands for “explanations” as to why their children were not in school on the day of a large demonstration in Union Square, during which pitched battles were fought between the police and leftist demonstrators.
• Under a banner that read, “Let’s Go to Nalevkes to Get Some Dead Jews,” a group of 150 Polish students of the antisemitic, nationalist party Endecja held a demonstration at Warsaw University in which their most vocal complaints were that Jews do not give enough dead bodies for the university’s medical students to practice on and that Jewish medical students work on the bodies of dead Poles. When Jewish students tried to enter the hall to protest, they were driven back. Polish socialist students who tried to help them were also beaten. The demonstration subsequently moved into the street, and a number of Jews were beaten then, too. The Jewish student organization has written an official letter of protest to the university administration, as well as to government officials.
50 YEARS AGO
• “The Arabs are not yet ready for peace with Israel,” said the Arab League’s United Nations spokesman and Yemeni representative, Kemal Abdul Rahim, at a press conference. As long as Israel refuses to accede to U.N. resolutions relating to borders, refugees and the internationalization of Jerusalem, no Arab country will begin talks, he added. He also said that Jewish residents of Arab countries all had equal rights and that they live in freedom. When the Forward’s correspondent asked when Jews in Yemen would have the right to ride a horse or a camel, since currently they can only legally ride donkeys, Rahim replied that he didn’t know of such a law and that it was against Islam and such a practice should be condemned.