Looking Back

100 Years Ago in the Forward After a unanimous vote, all Yiddish theater companies have decided to call for a general strike in Jacob Adler’s Grand Theatre. Insiders say that it was Adler who was looking for trouble when he fired the Grand’s choir director and chose another to his liking. The Yiddish theater unions, who were opposed to the sacking, called a meeting and asked Adler to attend, which he did. But after being informed of the unions’ demands, Adler rudely insulted them and walked out. It was then that the strike was called. For his part, Adler said that if the show doesn’t go on in his theater it won’t go on anywhere else, because the Yiddish theater managers are also united on the issue.

75 Years Ago in the Forward Dzika Street is a typical poor street in Warsaw’s Jewish quarter. Not much usually happens there. But this week it has been flooded with Jews and non-Jews from all over Europe and as far away as America and Japan, who are currently in Poland for the annual Esperanto Language Congress. They have come to Dzika Street to visit the house at number nine, where Ludwig Zamenhoff, the creator of Esperanto, lived for much of his life. The older Jews on Dzika, many of whom remember Zamenhoff, are kvelling with nakhes at the attention they’re getting. Interestingly, even after Zamenhoff gained worldwide fame and thousands of followers, he remained in his house on Dzika, where he worked as an eye doctor. A comment was made: “Take a look — we had such a famous person living on our street and we didn’t even know it! He was such a simple, modest, kindhearted person.” Another reason Zamenhoff was so beloved among neighborhood Jews was that unlike the other hifalutin Warsaw doctors, who spoke fake German, he was happy to converse with the people in Yiddish, their mother tongue and his.

50 Years Ago in the Forward As nine African American students took their places in the largest high school in Clinton, Tenn., two thirds of the school’s white students refused to enter, in protest of desegregation. After riots broke out in the town early this week, the National Guard was called in to restore order. In a related matter, the influential African American newspaper The Daily Defender called for a renewed fight against injustice and racism. In the same article, after commenting on how well-received Eartha Kitt and Lionel Hampton were on their recent trip to Israel, the paper sent Rosh Hashanah greetings to the Jews, saying: “We send our warmest greetings to the Jews of America and the world. We wish everyone a happy holiday and a joyous Rosh Hashanah.”

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Looking Back

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