1916 100 Years Ago
New York City police detectives arrested one David Schiff, president of the Manhattan hat company Deutsch-Schiff, as well as his young cousin, Hyman Kuperstein of the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, on charges of setting fire to Schiff’s hat factory. Both are being held on $10,000 bail. Police say both Schiff and Kuperstein admitted that they torched the factory because business had been going poorly. They were hoping to collect the insurance money. Police discovered the ruse accidentally after seeing a group of boys, one of whom was Kuperstein, carrying large bundles of hats down Broadway. Thinking they had stolen the hats, they asked the boys where they got them. The boys answered, “The Deutsch-Schiff Hat Company.” Detectives brought the hats back to the factory, which by then was engulfed in flames.
1941 75 Years Ago
According to trustworthy sources, all the roads leading to Warsaw, Poland, are filled with thousands of Jews, from nearby cities and towns, whom Nazis have driven out of their homes and into the city’s ghetto. Gazeta Zydowska, the only newspaper the Germans have permitted the Jews to publish in occupied Poland, has corroborated this, saying that thousands of Jews from outside the city are being sent to the ghetto, where they will have to find shelter. The Jewish Community Council has no idea how to handle this massive influx, and the refugees are being housed in Jewish institutional buildings, schools and synagogues. The community building at 21 Stawski Street, for example, is packed with thousands of people. Even worse, the community council has enough food to feed only 1,500 people per day. As a result, many people are slowly starving.
1966 50 Years Ago
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Stewart L. Udall recently announced a plan to transform Ellis Island, a location well known to millions of Jewish immigrants as the “Island of Tears,” into a museum and center that will reflect the epoch of immigration, during which immigrants streamed into the United States from all over the world in search of a better life. Plans include the installation of a large monument that will represent the concept of freedom of the 16 million immigrants who passed through the island. Standing at 30 feet tall, the monument will be called “The Wall of the 16 Million” and will cost $12 million. The project is especially meaningful to Jews, in particular since many of the Jewish immigrants who passed through Ellis Island’s gates are still alive, and happy to have made the journey to freedom.