The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire was one of the worst industrial tragedies in America. On the eve of its 108th anniversary, read reporting published in the Yiddish-language Forverts in the aftermath of the deadly fire.
Articles were translated by Chana Pollack, Ezra Glinter and Myra Mniewski.
March 26, 1911
Our Ghastly Devastation
One day after the fire, the Forverts pens a mournful piece about the victims. “The heart is too aggrieved, the breath seized by the sight of the pile of fresh human burnt-offering, inconceivable,” it reads.
The Morgue Is Full of Our Victims!
The Forverts provides vivid and gruesome descriptions of the fire’s immediate aftermath.
A Wild, Inexplicable Mass Murder
Reports on how few fire escapes, locked doors, crooked and narrow stairways and a shop crammed with machines contributed to the disaster.
March 27, 1911
Blood-Chilling Details of Saturday’s Destruction
In the issue published two days after the fire, Forward staffers detail the fire’s devastation.
Remembering the Victims
Remembering Triangle fire victims Violet Shekhter, Benny Kurs, Yetta Rosenboym and Gussie Spunt, through vignettes.
What a Reporter from the Forverts Saw at the Morgue
A Forverts reporter provides a first-hand account of what it was like at the morgue on the day after the fire.
The Blood of the Victims Calls to Us
In his editorial, Forverts editor Abraham Cahan, writes, “The entire neighborhood is sitting shiva.”
March 28, 1911
A Closet with Wedding Clothes Is All That Is Left of Yetta Goldstein
The family of Triangle victim Yetta Goldstein remembers the 20-year-old worker.
More Tragedies in the Darkened Homes
The Forverts visits with family members of various Triangle victims.
March 29, 1911
Only A Muted Violin Is All that Remains of Them
The children of the Rosen family remember their mother and brother, who died in the Triangle fire.
Mourning the Triangle Fire Victims
The Forverts reports on the funerals of some of the Triangle fire victims.
March 30, 1911
The Quiet Tragedy of Two of the Rescued
Two of those rescued from the Triangle factory share their story with the Forverts.
April 1, 1911
Building Department Takes Steps Against New Shop of Triangle Waist Co.
Two burned victims are identified, and the Triangle factory bosses open a new shop that is “just as dangerous as their prior factory.”
April 2, 1911
A poem by Morris Rosenfeld in the voice of Eastern European parents wishing their daughters who work in American factories would come back home.
April 3, 1911
An account of a meeting about the Triangle fire, held at the Metropolitan Opera House and attended by mostly wealthy individuals. The meeting was organized by the daughter of Wall Street magnate J. Pierpont Morgan.
April 6, 1911
The March of Tears
Morris Rosenfeld recounts the mourners’ funeral march which, he writes, had greater lamentation than “the march to counter the pogroms … during Russia’s savage empire.”
The Funeral of the Unidentified
An account of the funeral for the unidentified victims of the Triangle fire.
Half a Million People in Mourning
A dispatch from the mourners’ march that brought out more than half a million people.
April 7, 1911
Ladies Waist Maker Union Takes On the Task of Disclosing Fire Traps
The Ladies Waist Makers Union discloses firetraps to various city departments.
April 12, 1911
Triangle Bosses Arrested On Murder Charge
The two bosses of the Triangle Waist Company, Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, are indicted on charges of first-degree manslaughter.
December 23, 1911
Triangle Boss a Witness
Isaac Harris, forced to give evidence on the witness stand, said that there had been five fires in the Triangle shop, and that he had given instructions to inspect the girls’ pocketbooks.
December 27, 1911
Triangle Case Goes to Jury Today
The case of the Triangle bosses goes to the jury.
December 29, 1911
The 147 Immolated Have No Effect on the Jury
The Triangle bosses are acquitted.
Confessions of a Triangle Juror
A Triangle juror speaks to the press.
The Lesson of the Triangle Trial
Forverts editor Abraham Cahan on what can be learned from the Triangle fire.