February 1, 2008

100 Years Ago in the forward

Judah Magnes has hit his Yahudim where it hurts. A few weeks ago, Rabbi Magnes of Temple Emmanuel gave a sermon in which he criticized those Jews who marry off their children to Christians in churches. Well-known businessman Louis Stern, a synagogue board member and trustee who recently had married his daughter to the very wealthy and very Catholic Swiss Baron de Graffenried in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, took Magnes’s comments as a direct insult and promptly resigned his position. Though Rabbi Silverman, the head rabbi at Temple Emmanuel, said he was aware that Magnes’s comments had caused an uproar among congregants, he claimed to know nothing about Stern’s resignation.

75 Years Ago in the forward

The fears of German Jews have been realized: President Paul von Hindenburg has appointed Hitler chancellor of Germany. Though most of the Cabinet is not made up of Nazis, and the vice chancellor is former chancellor Franz von Papen, the new government is already dealing with its opponents harshly, threatening severe punishments for those who oppose its new policies. Freedom of the press has been curtailed drastically, and the German Union of Journalists has sent a letter of protest to the president. In the wake of Hitler’s appointment, his supporters have taken to the streets, demonstrating in support of him and calling for pogroms against Jews. On the other hand, thousands of German workers have declared their will to stand against Hitler. As a result, many of these demonstrations have been violent. A number of people have been viciously beaten, and there have been several deaths.

50 Years Ago in the forward

In a bold move watched carefully by all of the Middle East, Egypt and Syria have declared a unification pact between the two countries. Gamel Abdel Nasser of Egypt and Shukri El-Kuavatli of Syria announced that their two countries are now one. They will no longer be called Egypt or Syria, but by the new name, “The United Arab Republic.” Amid celebration in Cairo and Damascus, Nasser said he hoped that the new state will come to include all Arab countries, “from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf.” In related news, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev told journalists he felt that peace between Israel and the Arab world would be achieved more quickly if the major powers would just stay out of it and let the two peoples handle it on their own.

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February 1, 2008

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