June 10, 2005
100 YEARS AGO
• As is well known, the Bund is the most active Jewish self-defense organization that works to protect the Jews during the wave of pogroms that has recently engulfed the Pale of Settlement. It is our duty to help the Bund arm Jews so that they can protect themselves. The Bund’s Central Committee has decided to send its members out into the Jewish quarter to collect funds to support those on the front lines. So that they can be identified easily, each member will carry a special badge marked, “The Self Defense Committee of the Bund.” Everyone should give as much as possible: The Jewish self-defense groups are the only protection Jews have against the pogromists in Russia.
75 YEARS AGO
• The recent unrest in Palestine is not due to Arab attacks on Jews or to the attitudes of the British Commission that is dealing with them; it is a result of the new English-language talkies that have flooded the country’s movie theaters. Defenders of the Language, an organization created to guard the purity of the Hebrew language, recently put up large posters throughout Tel Aviv declaring that the English-language talkies were a “necessary evil” until Hebrew-language films could be produced. However, they warned that “viewers should not sing the songs from the talkies at home or in the streets, and [the songs] should be forgotten as soon as they leave the theaters.” The posters could be found next to those advertising the current hit in Palestine, “The Singing Fool,” starring Al Jolson.
• News reports from Moscow indicate that Stalin has given complete control of the army to Red Army functionary Jan Gomornik. Less well known, perhaps, is that Gomornik is the brother-in-law of Hebrew poet Hayim Nahman Bialik. Previously, Gomornik was commander of the Red Army’s Ukraine division. He was later named chief of the political department, which is supervised by the organization of political propaganda for the entire Soviet army. Gomornik is a young man, said to be between the ages of 30 and 35, and a loyal supporter of Stalin.
50 YEARS AGO
• Some of the new Texas oil millionaires are really crazy. One of them, whom we’ll call “Jones,” recently forked over a few thousand dollars to win a bet for only $1,000. It all started at a millionaires’ poker game in Dallas, when a discussion began about which ethnicity had the tastiest food. “Jones” insisted that the most delicious thing around was “corned beef on real Jewish rye with half-sour pickles.” To prove it, he put all his poker buddies on a plane and flew them to New York, directly to the Lower East Side, where they tried it for themselves.