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Forward Looking Back

1916 100 Years Ago

All the collection activity for Jewish war victims and refugees has brought up the question of just how many Russian Jews there are in America and how rich they are. Are there any Russian Jewish millionaires? If so, how many? It’s an interesting question, because the poor Jews of Manhattan’s Lower East Side are donating quite a lot of money to those suffering from the war in Europe. Apparently, wealthy Russian Jews have given less than they have. Wealthy German Jews are giving a lot, but that makes sense, since there are far more capitalists among them than among the more recent immigrants. Some say there are 200 Russian Jewish millionaires. We think this is an exaggeration. On average, our wealthy Russian Jews have no more than $100,000 apiece. But there are all kinds, and some have more and some have less. Whatever they have, it would be a good thing if they would contribute more to our relief efforts for our brothers in Europe.

1941 75 Years Ago

The remaining Jews in Germany have been forced into slavery. Elderly Jewish men and women have been taken from the streets of Berlin and other cities in Germany to clear the snow from the streets. Treated as though they are criminals, these Jews are kept in small groups and guarded by police. Jews taken to work in slave labor factories are being held under similar conditions. Slave labor is a kind of strange privilege for German Jews, who greatly fear the possibility of being exiled from Germany entirely. Currently it is estimated that thousands of German Jews are working in factories for military industries. Jews cannot purchase clothes or shoes, and receive less food than other Germans. What the end will be is impossible to know.

1966 50 Years Ago

Two Jewish members of the right-wing John Birch Society announced at a press conference that they plan to organize a Jewish section of the extremist organization, to be called the Jewish Society of Americanists. The two Jewish Birchers are 39-year-old Samuel Blumenfeld, who is a former New Yorker now living in Boston, and 33-year-old Alan Stang, a former writer for the Tex and Jinx radio show. Stang recently wrote a book called “It’s Very Simple,” which claims that the entire civil rights movement is a Communist plot. The founding of the new group was a result of an Anti-Defamation League investigation into the John Birch Society that revealed a base anti-Semitism. As a response, Blumenfeld and Stang decided to create a Jewish version of the group.

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