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December 29, 2006

100 Years Ago In the Forward

After this week’s assassination of tsarist adviser Aleksei Ignatieff, the Jews of Kiev have been informed that they have 24 hours to leave the city or they will be deported. Ignatieff is widely thought to have been the brains behind the 1882 May Laws, which presented Russia’s Jews with even more restrictive legislation and forbade them from living in small villages or on the borders of the Pale of Settlement. After the passing of this legislation, life became terribly difficult for the Jews, who began to emigrate in large numbers. Ignatieff was thus considered by Russia’s Jews to have been the Haman of the their era.

75 Years Ago In the Forward

Vilna’s Jewish community has sent a delegation to the Polish government in an attempt to put an end to the anti-Jewish boycott movement, which has destroyed the livelihood of numerous Jews of the region. Officials of Vilna University already have taken steps to combat the boycott by disbanding all student organizations that have supported it. There have been, however, numerous examples of anti-Jewish boycott activity, notably the smashing of windows of Jewish-owned stores.

Wealthy Omaha, Neb., businessman and social activist Harry Lapidus was shot to death this week as he drove in his automobile. A young Jewish artist was arrested on account of his relationship with Lapidus’s 20-year old stenographer, Bessie Neponik. The artist, Jack Deport of Brooklyn, was suspected of threatening to kill Lapidus after discovering he had been having an affair with the stenographer. Deport denies having anything to do with the murder.

50 Years Ago In the Forward

Kiev and other Ukrainian cities have been experiencing much unrest these days over the fact that Soviet authorities have deported more than 2,000 Jews to Siberia. This information was smuggled to the West by Hungarian intellectuals who were recently arrested during the unrest there and incarcerated in the Soviet Ukraine. The Hungarians added that numerous riots have occurred there, all of which have been viciously put down by the Red Army. They also noted that the Ukrainian demonstrations, led mainly by students, were demanding Western-style democracy.

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