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November 10, 2006

100 Years Ago in the forward

This past Tuesday night, the largest crowd in the city planted itself in front of the Forward building to hear the election results as they came in. Estimated at 20,000 people, the crowd packed Seward Park and the streets surrounding the area. At about 9 p.m., as the people waited expectantly for the returns to come in, the gaslights in the building suddenly gave out and we had to stop reporting. Despite the outage, the crowd remained in place in hopes that soon they would hear that socialist candidate Morris Hillquit won his fight for a place in Congress. When the news came out that he had lost, the crowd finally began to break up and go home.

75 Years Ago in the forward

More than 100 people were wounded in a pogrom in the Polish shtetl of Grodzhinsk, which is located near Posen. Two hundred Polish hooligans attacked a market where Jewish and non-Jewish peddlers were selling their wares. As the attack ensued, many Christian peddlers attempted to protect their Jewish friends and colleagues, who ended up as victims of the hooligans. Many Jewish peddlers were forced to hide in the homes of their Christian colleagues until late at night, as the pogromists stalked the streets looking for Jews to beat or kill. When the hooligans found out that the Christian peddlers were hiding the Jews, they began to attack them, as well. At that point, Christians and Jews came out of hiding to attack the pogromists together.

Over the years, a number of Jewish actors famous in the general theater world have made their way to Yiddish theater. Usually this happens at the ends of their careers, when their lights go dim. This is one of the reasons it is so intriguing that famed Berlin-based actor Alexander Granach has decided to come to New York and act in Yiddish theater. Granach, a fairly young man, is already a famous actor in German. Obviously he wants to perform in Yiddish.

50 Years Ago in the forward

As war between Egypt and Israel, together with Britain and France, continues, the United Nations is furiously calling for a cease-fire, and Iraq’s army has entered Jordan and is expected to attack Israel. As England and France attempt to fend off the U.N. as they try to retake the Suez Canal, Israel has taken all of Gaza and much of the Sinai Peninsula. Many Egyptian battalions have surrendered. Those that haven’t, the Israelis say, are not yet aware of the situation on the ground. An Israeli representative said that their army had reached its goals far more quickly than originally expected.

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