Forward Looking Back
1916 100 Years Ago
A case came before Judge Rosalsky in which one Louie Belish of 148 Norfolk Street in Manhattan stood accused of seducing a young girl and forcing her into a life of prostitution. The girl, known only as “Annie,” is a 17-year old brunette with whom he lived at 29 Stuyvesant Place. Another young woman, known only as “Enda,” lived in the same building and testified that she often saw Belish and Annie fighting over the fact that she didn’t bring in enough money. The case included other witnesses, such as Abe Finkelstein, who is a postman and a friend of the accused, and Annie’s “friend,” Sam Karp, a possible customer who claimed to meet her frequently next to Beth Hamedresh Hagodol on Norfolk Street. Karp, however had difficulty testifying: When one of the attorneys asked him a question using technical English language, Karp yelled out, “Tok pleyn mame-loshn!” (“Speak plain Yiddish!”) The case is a sad example of what is going on with young Jews on the Lower East Side.
1941 75 Years Ago
According to the Litzmannstadt Zeitung, the Nazi newspaper from Lodz, (now called Litzmannstadt), the city’s Jews were not permitted to purchase food for an entire week. Though the newspaper doesn’t provide any details, it is obvious that Lodz’s Jews, who are already imprisoned in a ghetto, are slowly being starved to death. The ghetto, located in the impoverished Balut neighborhood, is home to 50,000 Jews. Even in the “good times,” when the Nazis were “generous,” all that the Jews were able to buy were food rations only half the weight of that available to Poles. Also, Jews were not permitted to buy certain types of food: eggs, butter, chicken and honey, among other items. Under the current circumstances, the Nazis are forcing the ghetto’s Jews to fast. ** 1966 50 Years Ago**
Witnesses from New York and Israel testified in the mass murder trial of 10 former SS members who stand accused of participating in the extermination of the Jews of Tarnopol. Arriving from New York, Pesach Adler, who survived the massacre in Tarnopol, leveled serious charges against two of those on trial, Paul Rebel and Paul Melar, asserting that the two shot many Jews. When Rebel and Melar were declared “not guilty,” Adler stood by his claim to have seen the two men shoot Jews. “I don’t even have the slightest doubt,” he said. P. Mondshein, who also lived in Tarnopol during the war and who was employed at the home of one of the accused, named a third defendant, Muller, as the shooter of a 50-year-old Jewish watchmaker named Wolfson.