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Culture

September 15, 2006

100 Years Ago in the forward East Broadway seltzer vendor Henry Mittleman was blown to bits last week after a seltzer tank exploded in the basement of his store. Mittleman, who was working just a few feet from the tank, was thrown more than 20 feet by the blast. After he arrived at the hospital, it was determined that both his legs were broken in a number of places and that he suffered severe internal injuries. He died just an hour after admittance. Ironically, Mittleman had just completed a deal with the Mineral Water Workers Union and had an appointment to meet with them this week.

75 Years Ago in the forward As members of the Linden Credit Corporation were holding a meeting in a synagogue in the Brownsville area of Brooklyn to discuss High Holy Day loans, four men came in. While it was thought that they wanted to purchase tickets for the holidays, their needs became clearer after they pulled out revolvers and yelled, “Hands up!” Benjamin Levy, the corporation’s treasurer, tried to hide some money under the table, but one of the robbers saw him and began to beat him over the head with his pistol. The members of the corporation then handed over all their cash and jewelry to the thieves, who netted a total of $250.

In a related matter, the American Jewish Committee released a report this week on Jewish criminality. According to the AJCommittee’s findings, only 6,846 of the 395,080 prisoners in America’s jails are Jews — about 1.74% of the whole. American Jews make up 3.43% of the entire population, which means that Jewish prisoners make up half their numbers proportionally. The report also indicated a similar situation in Europe. In Poland, for example, 4.8% of prisoners are Jewish, whereas the percentage of Jews in the general population is 13%.

50 Years Agoin the forward Six Israeli soldiers were killed this week in a bloody battle with Jordanian soldiers near Bet Guvrin. Also, by using dynamite, Egyptian terrorists destroyed part of the railroad tracks running from Beersheba to Tel Aviv. Apparently the Egyptians had planned to blow up a train, but the explosives went off early and only destroyed the tracks. The tracks of the terrorists indicated that they entered Israel through Gaza and exited through Jordan. The Israeli Foreign Ministry condemned the sabotage and blamed Egypt for the aggression.

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