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Looking Back December 8, 2006

100 Years Ago in the forward

After marrying and then dumping at least four women, serial groom Samuel Shopkin has been busted and is now sitting alone in a cell in the Tombs. Lining up to testify against him are his first wife, Dora Shvalsboim-Shopkin, and his second wife, Minnie Trommer-Shopkin. Two other women have come forward, Yetta Segal and Cecille Shutzman. Both said they had been married to Shopkin during the past year. In addition the events of the past year, Shvalsboim-Shopkin had Shopkin brought up on charges of bigamy. The judge let him off with a suspended sentence, but Shopkin apparently didn’t suspend his penchant for marriage.

75 Years Ago in the forward

A gang of Nazi hooligans who had wandered into Berlin’s heavily Jewish Grenadier Street — known for its population of poor, Polish Jewish immigrants, got a nasty surprise after they yelled “Death to the Jews” and attacked some passersby. They were quickly surrounded by a group of angry Jews who beat the Nazis badly and chased them out of the neighborhood. Berlin’s official Jewish community representatives said they feared that attacks like the one on Grenadier Street would become commonplace and that Nazi riots will only get worse.

This week marks the 400th anniversary of Nostradamus’s arrival in Paris at the behest of the French monarch who, like the rest of the country, had become obsessed with his prophetic abilities. Nostradamus, who subsequently became world famous for his prophecies, was born into a Jewish family in the south of France. His grandfather was the court doctor for King René the Good of Provence during a time when life for the Jews of the region was comfortable. Much of René the Good’s administrative staff, in fact, was made up of Jews. As subsequent monarchs’ attitudes toward the Jews changed, Nostradamus’s parents converted in order to retain their status in society.

50 Years Ago in the forward

As demonstrations continue to engulf Budapest, the Hungarian capital’s Soviet masters have clamped down, sending in tanks and police to arrest the demonstrators. Two protesters were killed on the spot, and hundreds were wounded. Hundreds of demonstrators, who were calling for a free Hungary, were arrested by Russian and Hungarian police. These shootings and arrests are the climax of a month of anti-Soviet demonstrations. This week, in particular, saw massive demonstrations of women in front of the British and American consulates. The State Department has lodged a strong protest to the Russians in connection to these events.

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