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Culture

September 10, 2004

100 YEARS AGO

• The judges in Galicia have a strange sense of justice. When a Jew and a gentile stood before a judge in a Galician shtetl and were found guilty of the same charge, disturbing the peace, the judge meted out two different sentences. The gentile received a fine of five kroner and the Jew, 10. When the Jew asked the judge why his fine was twice that of the Christian when they were found guilty of the same crime, the judge replied, since Jews have more money, they have to pay more.

75 YEARS AGO

• The secretary of the Arab Congress, Abdul Hadi, declared that the attacks on Jews in Palestine were not sudden riotous outbreaks, but a result of the systematic propaganda that has been disseminated by his organization.

Hadi added that the Arabs consider Palestine to be an Arab land and that if the Balfour Declaration is not rescinded, an even bigger pogrom can be expected. Secretary Hadi explained that the Arab Congress had given orders to the Arab masses to shoot only Jews and not the British in order to make the latter understand the historic mistake of the Balfour Declaration.

• The Forward suddenly has a slew of new readers: former subscribers to the communist Yiddish daily, Morgen Freiheit, who have forsaken the publication after it came out in support of the Arab pogroms against the Jews of Palestine. One former comrade described the protest meeting held by Morgen Freiheit: I heard strange, unbelievable words, like, “Arab heroes,” and “Zionist pogromists,” that “Jews attacked the poor Arabs,” and “Long live the Arab revolution against the Jewish imperialists.” Many Jews, red comrades just like me, looked at the strange leaders of Morgen Freiheit with great disappointment; with bitterness and with a choking wail in their throats. I left their protest meeting, spit three times and said: “I am no longer a comrade, just a simple Jewish worker.”

50 YEARS AGO

• Abraham Chasanow, the American Dreyfuss, who was suspended more than a year ago from his duties at the U.S. Navy’s Hydrographic Office after 23 years of service, was reinstated and rehabilitated after having been accused of being a communist by Senator McCarthy. Even after a Navy Review Board looked at his case, Chasanow was not reinstated. The story broke big only after an article, edited by Columbia University Professor Max Ascoli, appeared in a journal called The Reporter. Subsequent stories about Chasanow’s tragedy ran in The New York Times and in other news outlets.

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