July 9, 2004
100 YEARS AGO
• Tragic news has arrived from Europe announcing the death of the leader of political Zionism, Dr. Theodore Herzl, from a heart attack. He was 44 years old. Herzl’s death is a terrible blow not only for Zionism, but also for millions of Jews who looked to him as a savior of the nation. Herzl’s career as a Zionist and Jewish patriot actually was quite short: His involvement began only eight years ago. Herzl did not found Zionism, but created a significant political movement out of it. Prior to the creation of Herzl’s political Zionism, the movement comprised Russian Jews who had gone to Palestine to live in Jewish colonies.
75 YEARS AGO
• A Jewish student, Mordechai Shapiro, was freed after stabbing the leader of the Russian antisemitic student organization at a college in Chambleaux, Belgium. Following a trial, the judge gave him a suspended sentence of five weeks in prison. Shapiro, who is originally from Palestine, also must pay the Russian student 1,200 francs in restitution. During the trial, Shapiro described the difficulties that Jewish students must endure in Chambleaux, including constant antisemitic attacks and harassment.
• In Germany, the Jewish editor of the newspaper Posischer Zeitung, George Berhard, had scheduled a speech at the University of Hannover, which was threatened with disruption by antisemitic student groups that announced they would not let the meeting take place. In fact, when Berhard stood up to speak, students turned out the lights and threw stink bombs, which exploded on the dais. Although a number of students were arrested, antisemitic episodes like this have been occurring on a near daily basis in Hannover.
50 YEARS AGO
• It is a little-known fact that there is a small, but thriving community of Muslims in postwar Germany. Normally, there would be insignificant interest in such a group, most of who served in Rommel’s Afrika Corps and converted in Egypt. However, the fascist and chauvinistic Muslim Brotherhood dominates these German Muslims, who number roughly 5,000. The German Muslim Brotherhood is connected to the Arab League and promotes its agenda, which is virulently anti-Israel. Recently, the German branch was stricken with internal strife when the vice president reported to the imam that the president has a tendency to drink beer. At first the president denied it, but then said he drank only under doctor’s orders.