Skip To Content

Forward Looking Back

1916 100 Years Ago

New Faces at Ellis Island

There are few Jews in this country that have no connection to Castle Garden or Ellis Island. Each and every Jew laughed and cried, danced and wailed, on Ellis Island. Thousands of Jews would arrive there every day. Their American Jewish families would greet them and then shower them with hugs and kisses and, sometimes, disappointment. But who is arriving these days? Our reporter took a trip out there to take a look, and at first glance it seemed to be full of Italians. But, looking more closely and listening in on conversations, he found that these dark-haired, olive-skinned immigrants were actually Greeks, Bulgarians, Romanians and Serbs, all of whom are arriving in fairly large numbers because of the war.

1941 75 Years Ago

The Execution of Grynszpan

Herschel Grynszpan, who assassinated the German consul secretary in Paris, Ernst vom Rath, was executed in prison in Germany as revenge for the recent assassination attempt against the Vichy government leader Pierre Laval. It is alleged that, over the years, the Germans have held Grynszpan and have tortured him in order to obtain the names of those involved in the French anti-Nazi underground who helped him in his plan to kill vom Rath. As is known, Grynszpan shot vom Rath in order to avenge the attacks on Jews in Germany. It is alleged that two Gestapo agents entered Grynszpan’s cell in Berlin and tortured him brutally, leading to his death. Reports also said that even though Grynszpan was only 20 years old, his hair had gone completely white due to the brutal treatment he suffered at the hands of the Nazis.

1966 50 Years Ago

No Jews Allowed

In New York City, where Jews make up 25% of the population, there are nine large banks with 173 positions in upper management with only one Jew to be found among the bankers, nearly all of whom are white Anglo-Saxon Protestants. And although 50% of the city’s college students are Jewish, bank careers are currently closed to them. A number of bank directors admitted that they do not accept Jews into high-level positions. One of them claimed the reasons to be that “Jews are too impatient and they are wheeler-dealers.” Another claimed that “Jews want to get rich too quickly.” A third argued that Jews are “too smart, too aggressive, and also dishonest.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.