Sunday, May 8, 2016

This Day, May 9, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


May 9

1457 BCE: In the 15th century BCE, Battle of Megiddo between Thutmose III and a large Canaanite coalition under the King of Kadesh. The victory of Thutmose extended the orbit of Egyptian influence into Canaan and Syria which might help explain some of the events described in the last chapters of Genesis and the opening portion of Exodus.  According to one source, the Exodus took place in 1456 which would not be consistent with the information surrounding the battle. Other sources indicate that Joshua and the Israelites crossed the Jordan around 1200 BCE.  Based on archeological evidence, Megiddo was a site of military importance during the time of King Solomon and he kept a chariot force stationed there.  The Judeans lost a battle with the Egyptians in 609 BCE and the British scored a significant victory over the Turks at the same site in 1918. Fighting at Megiddo would play a significant role during the War of Independence as both sides sought to control the Jezreel Valley. It is the first battle to have been recorded in what is accepted as relatively reliable detail.  According to Christian doctrine, there is supposed to be a battle between the forces of good and evil in th end of days.  The battle is known as Armageddon which is Greek form of the Hebrew Har-Megiddo (Mt of Megiddo).

1224: Innocent IV issued “Impia Judoerum Perfidia,” a papal bull that ordered the French King to brun the Talmud and forbade Jews from employing Christian nurses.

1317: In his will dated today, the infante Don Pedro, ordered that Judah Abravanel be paid: (1) 15,000 maravedis for clothes delivered; (2) 30,000 maravedis as part of a personal debt, at the same time requesting Judah to release him from paying the rest. Judah had been in great favor with King Alfonso the Wise, with whom he once had a conversation regarding Judaism.

1664: In Lemberg and Cracow, Poland, anti-Jewish riots by students and peasants resulted in damages and death in both communities. In Lemberg, the cantor was killed during when the synagogue was attacked.

1712: In Berlin, the cornerstone of the first public synagogue was laid in Heiderentergasse.

1775: Birthdate of Moses Philippson the Jewish writer, teacher, translator and publisher who was related to 16th century Rabbi Joshua ben Joseph Hoseschel and who taught at the Jewish School in Dessau.

1775: David Salisbury Franks was released after having been under arrest for six days on charges of having spoken “disrespectfully” about King George III. Franks, who was living in Montreal at the time, became such an ardent supporter of the American Revolution that he joined the Continental Army.

1778(12th of Iyar): Chasidic Rabbi Samuel Shmelke Horowitz, author of Divrei Shmuel, passed away today.

1788(2nd of Iyar): Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Vitebsk, autheo of “Peri Ha-Aretz,” passed away

1800: Birthdate of Justus Olshuasen, the German philologist who published a textbook on the Hebrew Language in 1861 and Emendation of the Old Testament.

1805(10th of Iyar, 5565): Michael Moses Hays, a Boston Merchant, passed away at the age of 64.

1800: Birthdate of abolitionist John Brown best known for his seizure of Harper’s Ferry.  However, he had played an active role in the fighting between slave owners and free soilers in Kansas during 1850’s.  When he led the raid on Pottawatomie, Kansas, he was joined by three Jews – August Bondi, Jacob Benjamin and Theodore Weiner. 

1809: Birthdate of Middlesex native Ralph Disraeli.

1812: Birthdate of Egyptian-born Indian civil servant, Henry Edward Goldsmid.

1837: Elisa Morpurgo (Parente) and Giuseppe / Joseph Baron von Morpurgo gave birth to Emilio Isacco Baron de Morpurgo

1852: As a sign of Christian determination to gain Jewish converts, Reverend William Ramsay is scheduled to deliver the annual sermon before the American Society for the Meliorating the Condition of the Jews in New York City.

1855: The new building for the Jews Hospital in New York, located on 28th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, has been completed.  The building which cost $35,000 is four stories high and has room for 150 patients.  Dedication ceremonies are scheduled for May 17.

1856: An “English gossiper” described a meeting with Sir Lionel Goldsmid, Lord Mayor Salomons and Sir Moses Montefiore in an article entitled “Three Great Jews” published today.

1863(20th of Iyar, 5623: On Shabbat, during the Civil War, Lieutenant L.S. Lipman died while serving with the 5th Louisiana.

1864(3rd of Iyar, 5624): Lieutenant W.M. Wolf died while serving with Hagood’s S.C. Brigade.

1864: John Engel, a native of Maryland who had been working as a clerk in Mecklenburg County (NC) enlisted in the Confederate Army today.

1864: Walter Goodman arrived in Cuba where he worked as an artist and painting theatrical sets and journalist writing articles and letters to the New York Herald, using the nom de plume el Caballero Inglese.

1865: At Nashville, TN, Union Brigadier General Frederick Knefler led the 79th Indiana Infantry Brigade in final review of the army under the command of General George Thomas. Following the review, Knefler, one of the highest ranking Jewish officers to serve in the U.S. Army during the Civil War, took his troops back to Indianapolis where they were mustered out of service.

1868: The city of Reno, Nevada, is founded. Jews have been part of the Reno community since the founding of the city.  According to the history prepared by Temple Emanu-El “One of the first Jewish organizations was the "Reno Hebrew Benevolent Society" established in 1879. The Society's purpose was to secure a piece of land for a cemetery, assist sick members and, in case of death, provide for a decent internment. The initial membership fee was $2.50 with a monthly membership payment of fifty cents.’ For more about the history of the Jews in Reno see Jews in Nevada: A History by John Marschall.

1871: Lipman Emanuel “Lip” Pike played in his first major league baseball game as a member of the Troy Haymakers.

1872: The American Society for the Promotion of Christianity Among the Jews held its second anniversary meeting this evening at the Union Presbyterian Church in New York City.  While the report of Reverend Abraham C. Tris stated “that the progress of the work have been very encouraging” it never provided any number of Jews who had actually converted as a result of the society’s efforts.

 1873: Myer Stern, President of the Hebrew and Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society, a trustee of Temple Emanu-El and a prominent businessman and political figure was one of three people nominated by the Mayor to serve as Commissioners of charities and Correction in New York City.

1876(15th of Iyar, 5636): Pesach N. Rubenstein who had been convicted of murdering Sara Alexander starved himself to death before he could be hanged for his crime.

1881: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Shpola and Ananyev, Russia.  This was part of a wave of anti-Semitic violence that would sweep back and forth across Russia until the start of World War I.  It was consistent with the Czars 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 policy for the Jews.  Things would be so bad for the Jews that one third would convert, one third would leave the country and one third would die.  And Russia would be free of its Jewish Problem

1885: Rabbi Alexander Kohut of Grosswardein, Hungary delivered his first sermon at Temple Ahavath Chesed in New York City.

1886: In New York “500 people met at the Salem Fields Cemetery” today to dedicate a monument honor Jewish philanthropist Seligman Solomon.  Among other things, the 20 foot high granite shaft honored his work with the Hebrew Orphan Asylum calling him “A Father to the Orphan and Humanity’s Nobelest Volunteer.”

1890: In the upper house of the Prussian Diet, right-wing politician Count Pfeil moved that the government take measures to limit the educational opportunities of Jewish students.

1892: “Bay State Republicans” published today described status of the Massachusetts Republican Party as it prepares for the upcoming national convention in Minneapolis.  This includes the role to played by party secretary Ratchesky, “a very clever, shrewd and cunning Jewish politician who has been useful in in the past in keeping his people in line for the Republican ticket. He is a member of the Boston Common Council, a keen debater and a man of unlimited political resource.” He is one of two men described as exercising “absolute control over the machinery” of the Republican Party.  

1893: John B. Weber, the former Commissioner of Immigration expressed his views on reports that the government of Russia has issued edicts expelling the Jews from Poland. He is concerned that this latest wave of immigrants will not benefit the United States and that the Czar and the Europeans are dumping their unwanted Jews on the Americans.

1893: The decision of the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions to actively work to convert Jews in the United States was made public today.

1893: As of today, Annie Weisberg, the daughter of Polish-Jewish immigrants was the only person reported to have been injured in the fire at the tenement house on Suffolk Street.

1893: Based on information that first appeared in the Hartford Courant it was reported today the wholesale expulsion of Jews from Poland began in the middle of February and has continued unabated since then.

1894: Esther Ruskay spoke on "The Revival of Judaism" at the founding meeting of the New York section of the National Council of Jewish Women

1895: The members of the New York Branch of the Jewish Woman’s Council was held today at Temple Emanu-El

1895: “The East Side Art Exhibition” published today praised the selection of the paintings being shown at the East Side Free Art Exhibition taking place at the Hebrew Institute which will continue for the next thirty days.

1896: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association will hold its 19th annual strawberry festival at Lenox Lyceum.

1896: The palatial mansion of Diamond mogul Barney Barnato located in the Mayfair section of London is reported to be nearing completion. Barnato’s new home is on Park Lane, near the home of another Jewish Diamond Mogul, Alfred Beit.

1897: In Little Rock, AR, B'nai Israel, a Reform Congregation, dedicated its new house of worship which was designed by architect Charles Thompson.  Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, the founder of Reform Judaism gave the keynote address at the ceremony.  The building was used until May, 1975 when the Temple B’nai Israel moved into it current home in western Little Rock.

1898: It was reported today that among fifty Jewish families who were at a mass meeting praying for the success of the American Army in the war with Spain were among  200 people left homeless by a fire that swept through Duluth, MN.

1898: Private Will H. Freudenstein of St. Louis was mustered in today at Jefferson Barracks, MO as members of Light Battery A Missouri Volunteers

1900: During the Konitz Affair, a blood libel in West Prussia,  “the Staatsbürgerzeitung, the leading anti-Semitic organ of Berlin, said: ‘No one can help forming the impression that the organs of the government received orders to pursue the investigation in a manner calculated to spare the Jews’” even though the opposite was quite true as could be seen by  the detectives and judges eagerly listened to “the most improbable statements implicating Jews, while Christian witnesses withheld important testimony.”

1901 Australia opens its first parliament in Melbourne. Elias Solomon, a native of London who became an auctioneer in Freemantle was among the members of the first parliament having won the Australian House Representative seat of Fremantle for the Free Trade Party.

1901: In Russia, chemical engineer Ospivoch Ephrussi, the son of Kishinev banker Joseph Ephrussi, and his wife gave birth to “Boris Ephrussi, the Professor of Genetics at the University of Paris.”

1901: Sir Isaac Isaacs began serving as a Member of the Australian Party representing the Division of Indi which is located in north-eastern Victoria. This is but one of many governmental positions that Isaacs held during a long career dedicated to public service. 

1901: Together with David Wolffsohn and Oskar Marmorek, Theodor Herzl traveled to Constantinople in his quest to gain support from the Sultan for a Jewish homeland in Eretz Israel. The trip will last until May 23.

1904(24th of Iyar, 5664): Hungarian born actress Jenny Gross who made her debut in 1878 in Vienna passed away today in Berlin.

1904: Nissan Katzenelson visited Herzl in Franzensbad and reports the results of his trip to London. Jacob Schiff had declared himself ready to negotiate a loan for Russia if it proved to do something for the Jews.

1911: The Vatican placed the works of Italian author Gabriele D'Annunzio in the Index of Forbidden Books. The Index Librorum Prohibitorum The List of Prohibited Books or The Index Librorum Prohibitorum, a list of publications prohibited by the Catholic Church was begun in the 16th century under Pope Paul IV.  Pope Paul VI finally discontinued it in 1966.  The lengthy list of forbidden includes some names that are not surprising including Martin Luther, Voltaire and Rabelais. Among the few “Jewish” names are Maimonides, Spinoza and Heine.  Mein Kampf never made the List of Prohibited Books!

1915: According to reports received by Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs in London, Henry Morgenthau, the United States Ambassador to Turkey, has been successful in his attempts to halt, at least temporarily, actions by the Turkish government which were proving to be inimical to the Zionist settlements and Jewish communities in Palestine.

1915: It was reported to that “Detectives Lehon, Tedder, Rogers and Whitfield who would have on the Leo Frank case for W.J. Burns” detective agency “are to be tried this week for alleged misdemeanors in connection with their investigation.

1915: It was reported that “the trial of the Rev. C.B. Ragsdale and R.L. Barber who accused W.J. Burns operatives Lehon, Tedder and Arthur Thurman of bribery in the make of alleged false affidavits for the Leo Frank Defense is set for this week.

1915: In “What Is To Be Done With Turkey?” published today French politician Gustave Hervé described his plan for carving up the Ottoman Empire after the war including giving Russia Constantinople – a proposal to which no one would object “if a Russian Government really resuscitated Poland by granting it full autonomy, gave the Jews equal civil and political rights,” and lived up to the promises made to the Dumas in 1906. (Editor’s note:  The issue of improving the treatment of the Jews of Eastern Europe was one that people spent a lot of time talking about but did little to make a reality.)

1915(25th of Iyar, 5675): London resident 2nd Lt. Herman Stern was killed today while serving with His Majesty’s Forces.

1916: The British and the French finalize the Sykes-Picot Agreement.  This was a secret treaty between the French and the British concerning the dismemberment of Turkey that would take place once World War I would come to a close.  France was to gain control over most of what is now Syria and Lebanon.  Britain would control what is now Jordan, Iraq and effectively Saudi Arabia.  The British were also to control a small enclave around Haifa.  The rest of what is now Israel and the West Bank was to be under some form of international control.  This secret agreement contradicted Allied promises that would be made to the Jews and the Arabs later during the war.  The treaty became public after the Russian Revolution when Lenin released the archives of the former Russian government to public view.  In part, the Middle East is still living with the end product of imperial duplicity as typified by the work of Sykes and Picot.

1916: Today “President Leon Sanders of the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society received a telegram from Secretary State Lansing” saying “that Isador Herschfield “ who has been in Europe for eleven months “investigating conditions among Jews in the war zones” has set sail from Rotterdam bound for New York.

1917: Rabbi Nathan Krass, a member of the American Jewish War Relief Commission returned to New York today from a fund raising lecture tour in the western United States.

1917: “Replying to a question in the House of Commons today as to whether any pledges had been given to France or Italy which might interfere with the establishment of an independent, integral Jewish Palestine under American or British protection, Lord Robert Cecil, Minister of Blockade, said he was afraid he could not answer any question with regard to pledges which might or might not have been given to Great Britain’s allies in connection with the terms of peace.

1917: Birthdate of Fay Mitchell who as Fay Kanin the wife of Michael Kanin was “half of the husband-and-wife team that wrote the Clark Gable-Doris Day comedy “Teacher’s Pet” and the writer of television movies including Emmy-winning vehicles for Maureen Stapleton and Carol Burnett…´(As reported by Alean Harmetz)

1918: In Brookline, MA, “Zina Wallik, who had come to the United States from a Russian shtetl before the turn of the 20th century” gave birth to Myron Leon Wallace who gained fame as American broadcast journalist Mike Wallace.

1920: Birthdate of Philip Klass, the London native who gained fame as American science fiction writer William Tenn.

1921(1st of Iyar, 5681): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1921: Birthdate of Sophie Scholl, a member of the White Rose resistance group whom the Nazis was executed by guillotine. Scholl was a Lutheran, a truly Righteous Gentile who did what she could to stop Hitler.

1923: In Alexandria, LA, Bernard F. and May Violet Kaffie Rosenthal gave birth to Tulane grad, attorney and Democratic Party leader Arnold Jack Rosenthal.

1923: “Women’s World Conference Tackles Jewish Problems” published today http://pdfs.jta.org/1923/1923-05-10_092.pdf

1926: “Louis W. Osterweis, a New York attorney, was elected President of the District No. 1, Independent Order B’nai Brith, the largest American Jewish fraternity with a membership of over sixty thousand, at the seventy-fourth annual convention of the Order held today at the Astor Hotel. He succeeded Bertram M. Aufsesser. (As reported by JTA)

1926: U.S. premiere of “Shipwrecked,” a silent adventure film starring Joseph Schildkraut as “Larry O’Neil.”

1926(25th of Iyar, 5686): Seventy-five year old Oscar Solomon Strauss passed away. A successful businessman he served two tours as U.S. Minister to the Ottoman Empire and was Teddy Roosevelt’s choice to serve as Secretary of Commerce and Labor making him the first Jew to serve as a Cabinet Secretary 1930: Birthdate of Mordechai “Motta” Gur who commanded the division that reunited Jerusalem in 1967 and served 10th Chief of Staff of the IDF.

1931(22nd of Iyar, 5691): Nobel Prize Winner, Albert Abraham Michelson passed away.  Born in Prussia in 1852, Michelson came to the U.S. two years later.  He grew up in San Francisco graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1873, something highly unusual for a Jewish youth of his day.  After finishing his naval career, Michelson went to enjoy a distinguished career in the United States and Europe as a physicist with a specialty in optics.  He won the Nobel Prize in 1907.  He was 87 at the time of his death.

1931: Birthdate of Tel Aviv native and Israeli politician Amnon Rubinstein.

1934: U. S. premiere of “Sadie McKee” a romantic drama based on "Pretty Sadie McKee” by Viña Delmar, produced by Lawrence Weingarten with lyrics by Arthur Freed.

1935: “The Informer” a film version of the novel by the same name with music by Max Steiner was released today in the United States.

1935: The American Jewish Olympic team arrived in New York today on the Italian liner Conte di Savoia. The United States athletes were returning from the second World Maccabiah staged at Tel-Aviv, Palestine.

1936: The world takes another step toward a general war when Italy formally annexed Ethiopia after taking the capital Addis Ababa.  The Western Powers did nothing to stop the Italian dictator and the League of Nations was totally helpless in stopping Mussolini. This lack of will and impotence gave Hitler further proof that he could swallow up much of Europe without firing a shot.  Orde Wingate, the British officer who would play a critical role in the liberation of Ethiopia was serving in Palestine and was one of the few British officers who sympathized with the Jewish settlers and helped train them in self-defense when they came under attack from armed Arab gangs bent on mayhem and murder.

1936: It was reported today that “among the questions to come before” the first Jewish World Congress which is scheduled to meet in August “will the defense of Jewish equality, re-establishment of the rights Jews in Germany, the struggle against anti-Semitism and the participation in Jewish reconstruction work in Palestine.”

1936: A detachment of British tanks is scheduled to be shipped from Alexandria, Egypt to Palestine in response to the Arab attacks and violence.

1936: At the 25th anniversary dinner of the Syracuse University chapter of Zeta Beta Tau “Dr. James Grover McDonald, former High Commissioner of the League of Nations for Refugees from Germany was extolled as one of the world’s outstanding contributors to the cause of international understanding” as he was named the recipient of the “Gottheil Medal which is given annually to the American who has, in the previous year, done the most for Jewry.”

1936: The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee reported today that services agencies it supported help more than 1,500 “German Jews and German Jewish refugees to migrate from their homes” during the month of January.

1937: For the second day in a row, Jews in Grabow were beaten by a mob angered at reports that Pole had been stabbed in an altercation with a Jew.

1937: “Make Way For Tomorrow” produced by Adolph Zukor and featuring Maurice Moscovitch as “Max Rubens, the Jewish shopkeeper” was released in the United States today.

1938: The Arabs continued their boycott of the Partition Commission and refused to meet personally with the British officials.  But they did submit a memorandum to the commission today rejecting any “scheme” that would result in partition.  They demanded an entity in which the Jews “would remain a minority” with what are called “full guarantees.”

1938: La Acion, the Judeo-Spanish newspaper of Salonica wrote that the community of Salonica had never been richer with the public property have a value totaling 2,000,000 Drachmas.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that the 101st Session of the League of Nations opened with a negative balance of unsolved problems like the Italian occupation of Ethiopia, the German occupation of Austria and the Japanese invasion of China. The German and Italian intervention in Spain, where they fought against the democratically-elected government and the steadily growing refuge problem also figured high on the League's distressing agenda.

1939: The Rothschild-Hadassah University Hospital and Medical Center was opened on Mt. Scopus. Mt. Scopus would be cut off from the Jewish held section of Jerusalem at the end of the War for Independence.  When the city was re-united, Mt. Scopus again became part of Israel and Jewish institutions were re-built and revitalized.

1940: As he continued his flight in the face of Nazi conquests Leo Bretholz entered a hospital in Antwerp for hernia surgery.

1940: As he tried to escape from Germany, Hugo Gutman, “an officer in the very regiment in which Adolf Hitler was an enlisted man” received his immigration visa today so that he and his family could catch the train for France.

1942: Belgrade becomes the first Axis-conquered city to murder or eliminate its Jewish Population, largely with the help of Serbian collaborators.

1942: The first deportation train set out from Eisenach for the Belzyce Ghetto

1942: The Jews of Markuszow, Poland, led by Shlomo Goldwasser, Mordechai Kirshenbaum, and the brothers Yaakov and Yerucham Gothelf, escaped to nearby forests.

1942: American poet Ezra Pound, who was working for the Fascist Italian government, broadcasted from Italy: "You would do better to inoculate your children with typhus and syphilis" than allow more Jews into the United States. America, Pound continues, is ruled by Jews and their allies, who are "the dirtiest dirt from the bottom of the Jew's ash can."

1943: On the eve of the 10th anniversary of a mass book burning in Nazi Germany, Wendell Willkie, the 1940 Republican nominee for President of the United States, declared that the Nazis, “arrogant with power…burned books which contained the accumulated the truth of centuries.”  However, “those very flames lit horizons of the spirit everywhere and today liberty-loving men are united to wipe out the forces of barbarism and brutality – forces which cannot live where men read books.” (Willkie’s sentiment are a case of war driven revisionism since  Americans did not see the threat of the Nazis until after the attack on Pearl Harbor and even then for many it was a reluctant realization.)

1943(4th of Iyar, 5703): The Skalat, Ukraine, Jewish community is destroyed.

1943: Despite the death of most of the leadership at the Headquarters at Mila 18, the resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto continues.

1945: Friedrich Krüger, an SS-Obergruppenführer responsible for mass exterminations of Polish Jews, committed suicide.

1945: On the day after World War II ended in Europe, Captain Bo Foster flew captured Nazi leader Hermann Goering to the U.S. 7th Army’s headquarters for interrogation.  Foster and a group of officers from the Army's 36th Infantry Division gathered on a tiny airstrip outside Kitzbuhel, Austria, to transport the highly-prized war prisoner back to Germany in an unarmed, two-man reconnaissance plane. Then he took one look at the one-time heir to Adolf Hitler and commander of the fearsome Luftwaffe — all 300-plus pounds (136-plus kilos) of him — and knew he needed a bigger plane. According to Foster, "They wanted to get him back where he could be debriefed. There was a strong rumor that in a mountainside in the Alps right down there in Bavaria there was a concentration of (German) military," Foster said. "He just acted as though it was a nice, friendly trip." Goering, 52, had surrendered to the US Army's 36th Infantry Division the day before. He had fallen out of favor with Hitler and hadn't played an active role at the end of the war, though he remained Reichsmarschall of Nazi Germany. Before his capture, Goering wrote a letter to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, offering to work with Eisenhower on the conditions of the German army's surrender, according to an account of Goering's capture by Brigadier Gen. Robert Stack kept by the 36th Infantry Division Association. After receiving the letter, Stack and a group of soldiers drove from the division's base near Kitzbuhel across the border into Germany and intercepted a convoy that included Goering, his wife, daughter, sister-in-law, household servants and military aides, according to the account. Goering agreed to surrender unconditionally but asked that his family be cared for, and the Nazi leader was delivered to Foster for transport the next day. The 33 year-old Foster didn't fear getting shot down carrying such precious cargo alone in an unescorted, unarmed plane. He didn't worry about Goering taking advantage of the lack of a guard to wrest control of the aircraft. The main problem was getting the two of them off the ground — the nimble, lightweight Piper L4 that Foster piloted in his artillery spotting missions wouldn't support both him and Goering. But the division only had the small airstrip that was fine for Foster's aircraft, but was problematic for taking off and landing larger planes. They'd have to upgrade to the one L5 in the division's inventory, a slightly larger aircraft Foster hadn't flown in years. Goering stood on the tiny airstrip in a plain, gray uniform that was unadorned but for a pistol at his hip and a medal around his neck. Still wearing the pistol, he stepped toward the plane. A Goering aide emerged from the group that had gathered and relieved Goering of the weapon. The Nazi leader settled into the back seat and tried to fasten his seat belt. It wouldn't stretch across his belly. He held the strap in his hand, looked at Foster and said, "Das goot!" — that's good. The two men spent the 55-minute flight from Kitzbuhel to Augsburg, Germany, conversing in a mix of German and English. Goering asked Foster to avoid any talk of Hitler or the war but appeared to relish pointing out the sites below them. In a letter to his wife, Virginia Lou Foster, written soon after the mission, Foster told her that the Nazi leader was "effeminate" and "gave me the creeps." [Foster returned to Montanan where he became a General in the National Guard and was awarded the French Legion of Honor for his World War II service.  (As reported in the Jerusalem Post)

1945: Due to quirk of time zones, in the Soviet the ninth and not the eighth of May is the official end of WW II.

1946: Based on the rulings of courts in Poland, today is the date used for people whose death date was not documented but in all likelihood occurred during World War II including the Polish children’s author Janusz Korczak who used the pen name of Henryk Goldszmit and died at Treblinka with the children from his Warsaw orphanage.

1948: Pinchas Ben Porat “was one of ten pilots who left Israel to enroll in Avia S-199 training in Czechoslovakia.”

1949: Birthdate of singer, piano player, Billy Joel.

1954: Gertrude Berg made her first appearance as the “mystery guest” on What’s My Line, signing in as Molly Goldberg, the iconic character she had created.

1956: In Brooklyn, “award winning Yiddish and English poet Menke Katz” and his wife gave birth to “Yiddish author, educator and cultural historian” Dovid Katz, the editor of the website DefendingHistory.com

1956: Outfielder Cal Abrams played his last major league baseball game with the Chicago White Sox.

1957: The Libyan government issued a decree ordering all Libyan Jews with relatives in Israel to register with the Libyan boycott Office, the main pressure group opposed trade with Israel.  Since more than ninety per cent of Libyan Jews had left the country between 1949 and 1952, this decree applies to almost every Jewish family in Libya." (In Ishmael's House by Martin Gilbert)

1958: U.S. premiere of the psychological thriller “Vertigo” with music by Bernard Herrmann

1958: Otto Brinkman, who “had been convicted in the Einsatzgruppen Trial” was released from Landsberg Prison today at the conclusion of the U.S. War Crimes program.

1959(1st of Iyar, 5719): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1959: Hank Greenberg resigned from the Chicago White Sox. Following his successful career as a baseball player, Greenberg became an equally successful executive.  He was the general manager of the 1954 Cleveland Indians that broke the Yankee's pennant winning streak.  He then became a part-owner and executive of the Chicago White Sox who beat the Yanks for the pennant in 1959.  Greenberg left baseball to become a successful investment banker.

1961: “Fiorello!” a musical about New York’s most famous mayor who spoke Yiddish when he campaigned for Congress moved from the Broadhurst Theatre to the Broadway Theatre where it continued its first run on Broadway.

1962(5th of Iyar, 5722): Yom HaAtma’ut

1964: The day after her birth Paul Gilbert and Barbara Crane adopted actress Melissa Gilbert best known for her portrayal of Laura Ingalls in “Little House on the Prairie” where he television father was the Jewish actor Michael Landon.

1965: CBS broadcast the last episode of “For the People” a legal drama created by Stuart Rosenberg and starring William Shatner (before he was Kirk) and Howard Da Silva

1965: Birthdate of journalist Mark Leibovich who “is the chief national correspondent for the New York Times Magazine.”

1972: A day after Sabena Flight 571 was hijacked by four terrorists from Black September demanding the release of 315 convicted Palestinian terrorists in exchange for the passengers, a rescue mission was mounted.  A group of commandos led by Ehud Barak that included Benjamin Netanyahu took back control of the plane, free the passengers with the loss of only one life, not counting the two dead terrorists.

1973(7th of Iyar, 5733: Comedian Jack E Leonard passed away.  Born Leonard Lebitsky in Chicago, Illinois, Leonard was a heavy-set, cigar-smoking practitioner of an aggressive form of humor.  His movie credits included the “Disorderly Orderly,” “The Fat Spy,” and “Target: Harry.”

1975(28th of Iyar, 5735): Yom Yerushalayim

1976: Anne Bernays received the Edward Lewis Wallant Book Award for her novel, "Growing Up Rich,"

1978:The Jerusalem Post reported that a clear consensus developed in the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of a compromise, proposed by the former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, which paved the way for the sale of 60 F-15 fighters to Saudi Arabia. The Senate agreed to support this sale, provided that the Administration agreed to increase the number of planes slated for Israel.

1979(12th of Iyar, 5739): Habib Elghanian “ a prominent Iranian Jewish businessman and philanthropist who served as the president of the Tehran Jewish Society and acted as the symbolic head of the Iranian Jewish community in the 1970s” was executed by a firing squad after having been convicted by an Islamist Court.

1981(5th of Iyar, 5741): On Shabbat, seventy-two year old author Nelson Algren winner of the National Book Award for Man With a Golden Arm, which later became a successful film, passed away today.

1981: After 40 performances at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, the curtain came down on “Fools” a comedy written by Neil Simon, directed by Mike Nichols with a cast that included John Rubinstein and Harold Gould.

1981: Rabbi David Posner of Temple Emanu-El officiated at the marriage ceremony of Celine Leah Perle and Jeffery Martin Sinaw which was held in his study.

1982: In “Oppenheimer – Examining the Scientist’s Relationship With Society,” Michael Billington reviews ‘Oppenheimer,’ an upcoming television mini-series that provides a portrait of the complex Jewish-American who was known as the father of the atomic bomb and who lost his security clearance during the Red Scare.

1984(7th of Iyar, 5744): Eighty-three year old Israeli writer and poet Miriam Yalan-Shteklis passed away today.

1985: NBC broadcast the final episode of the first season “The Cosby Show” co-created by Ed Weinberger

1986(30th of Nisan, 5746): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1986(30th of Nisan, 5746): Herschel Bernardi passed away at the age of 62. Born in New York in 1923, Bernardi came from a long line of Yiddish performers.  According to one legend, it was his mother's portrayal of a character called Yente that moved that term from a proper name to a descriptive term.  As an actor, Bernardi had trouble finding work outside of ethnic productions and because of his political views which led to him being blacklisted in the 1950's.  His career finally took off when played Lt. Jacoby, on the hit detective series "Peter Gunn" a role for which he won an Emmy.  Bernardi's unique voice made him the voice for Charlie the Tuna and the Jolly Green Giant.  He was the second actor to play Tevye in the Broadway hit "Fiddler on the Roof." 

1987(10th of Iyar, 57467): American financier and national president of the Boy Scouts of America, John Mortimer Schiff passed away. (As reported by William G. Blair)

1989(4th of Iyar, 5749): Yom HaZikaron

1991: Michael Landon appeared on The Tonight Show where he discussed the pancreatic cancer that would claim his life.

1992: NBC broadcast the final episode of “The Golden Girls”  a long-running sitcom created by Susan Harris and co-starring Beatrice Arthur and Estelle Getty.

1993: “2 Views of a Horror” published today described differing views of the Holocaust held by Israelis and Americans.

1994(28th of Iyar, 5754): Yom Yerushalayim

1996: Pursuant to Article VII of the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, dated September 28, 1995, the Israelis and the Palestinians agree to the establishment of a Temporary International Presence in the city of Hebron ("TIPH"). This agreement will remain in force until such time as Israeli forces redeploy from Hebron, whereupon it will be superseded by a new agreement to be negotiated by the two sides and the TIPH established by this Agreement will be replaced by a new TIPH to be established under the new agreement ("the new TIPH").

1997: In a story entitled “Saga of Yanov Torah recounted at Yom Hashoah Rites,” the San Diego Jewish Press Heritage recounts Rabbi Erwin Herman’s moving story of the Yanov Torah and how it how survived the Holocaust and found a home in this southern California metropolis

1997: “Father’s Day” a comedy directed by Ivan Reitman who served as producer along with Joel Silver, with a script co-authored by Lowell Ganz and co-starring Billy Crystal was released in the United States today.

1998: NBC broadcast the final episode of season one “Veronica’s Closet,” created by Marta Kauffman.

1998: Ninety-three year old comedy writer Nat Perrin who was also a prolific producer of scripts for movies and television passed away today.

1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Betty Friedan. And the Making of 'The Feminine Mystique': The American Left, the Cold War, and Modern Feminism by Daniel Horowitz and Betty Friedan: Her Life by Judith Nennessee.  

1999: In “Family Politics,” published today, Aaron L. Friedberg examined the Madeline Albright’s reaction to revelation about the Jews in her family tree.

2000(4th of Iyar, 5760): Yom HaZikaron

2001: The bodies of two Israeli teenagers – Yaakov “Koby Mandell and Yosef Ishran  - who had been kidnapped yesterday were found in a cave in the Judean Desert near their home which was covered with the boy’s blood “reportedly smeared by their killers” who had bound them, stabbed them and beaten them to death with rocks.

2002: “Roger Dodger” a comedy co-starring Jesse Eisenberg premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

2002: The 38-day stand-off in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem came to an end when the Palestinians inside agreed to have 13 suspected terrorists among them deported to several different countries. The terrorists had taken over the Christian shrine as they were pursued by Israeli security forces.  Interestingly there was no complaint by Christian leaders over this desecration of one of their holy places.

2003: “Leaders Honor Ghetto Fighters” published today described a joint tribute that the Presidents of Israel and Poland paid to those who fought in the 1943 uprising.

2004(18th of Iyar, 5764): Lag B’Omert

2004: The curtain came down on a revival of Baby for which David Shire wrote the music at The Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, New Jersey

2004(18th of Iyar, 5764): Comedian Alan King passed away.  “It’s not how long you lived, but how well you lived.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

2004: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Our Mothers' War': The Just-as-Great Generation by Laura Shapiro.

2006: At New York’s Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin delivers a lecture on his new book A Code of Jewish Ethics followed by a book party and book signing.

2006(11th of Iyar, 5766): Ruth Gay, a writer known for her nonfiction books documenting Jewish life in the Old World and the New, died in the Bronx. She was 83 and lived in Manhattan. She had been suffering from leukemia, and died at Calvary Hospital, her family said. Ms. Gay's books include "Safe Among the Germans: Liberated Jews After World War II" (Yale University, 2002), which dealt with a little-studied subject: the more than 250,000 Jews who returned to Allied-occupied Germany in the immediate aftermath of World War II. She also wrote "The Jews of Germany: A Historical Portrait" (Yale University, 1992), which chronicled Jewish life in Germany from the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 to the rise of Hitler in 1933. (As Reported by Margalit Fox)

2006: Israeli archaeologists working for Israel's Antiquities Authority announced today that they have uncovered a large concentration of stone utensils on the southeastern rim of the city which were used by prehistoric man hundreds of thousands of years ago. 

2007: As part of Jewish Heritage Month, the National Archives presented The Rape of Europa, a feature documentary that tells of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction, and miraculous survival of Europe’s art treasures during the Second World War. The film skillfully interweaves the history of Nazi art looting with contemporary stories of restitution. Tonight, following a screening of the 117-minute film, a distinguished panel will participate in a discussion and a question-and-answer session with the audience. Panelists include Lynn Nicholas, author of The Rape of Europa,” the award-winning book on which the film is based; Robert M. Edsel, author of Rescuing Da Vinci and a co-producer of the film; and Michael J. Kurtz, Assistant Archivist for Records Services at the National Archives.

2007: Students from Beit Hannah participate in the main ceremony on Karl Marx Boulevard in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, commemorating the victory over the Nazis in 1945.

2007: “Under Pressure, New Rep Cancels Play” describes the cancellation of “To Pay the Price” about the Raid on Entebbe because it was going to be paired with “My Name Is Rachel Corrie.”  The pressure came from the family of Yoni Netanyahu, the only person killed when Israeli commandos rescued Jewish hostages being held by Arab terrorists.

2007: In A Life Made Out of Wood, Metal and Determination,” published today Andreak K. Scott reviews an exhibition styled “The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson: Constructing a Legend,” a compact survey of 66 works organized by Brooke Kamin Rapaport for the Jewish Museum which is her first New York museum show in 27 years and examines the career of this late-blooming artist. “Life isn’t one straight line. Most of us have to be transplanted, like a tree, before we blossom.”

2008: The Holocaust memorial in Berlin hosts a classical concert on the third anniversary of its opening. Conducted by Lothar Zagrosek, the Kammersymphonie Berlin orchestra will perform the world premiere of a modern experimental piece by composer Harald Weiss. The musicians will spread out among the 2,711 gray concrete slabs that make up the monument, and the audience will be able to move freely across the site, the organizers said. Designed by the American architect Peter Eisenman, the memorial, located close to Berlin's signature Brandenburg Gate cost 27.6 million euro (US $43.6 million) to build. The site is open to the public around the clock. More than 8 million people have visited the memorial since its 2005 opening.

2008(4th of Iyar, 5768): In Tel Aviv, Shmuel Katz, who was a close adviser to Menachem Begin, Israel’s prime minister in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but who later became a vociferous opponent of Begin’s peace efforts with Egypt and the Palestinians, passed away at the age of 93.

2009(15th of Iyar, 5769): Noted editor and author David Marcus, the County Cork native whose work included To Next Year in Jerusalem, Who Ever Heard of an Irish Jew? and Other Short Stories and Oughtobioraphy – Leaves From the Diary of a Hyphenated Jew.

2009: Canadian born tennis pro Sharon Fichman who also holds Israeli citizenship was the “runner-u[“ in the Portugal Open, clay court tournament played in Estroril, Portugal.

2009: The Jacob’s Ladder Spring Festival comes to a close. http://jlfestival.com/index.asp

2009: As part of the Shabbat Lecture Series, the 92nd Street Y presents “Jewish Giants of the

American Songbook: Rodgers and Hammerstein” which examines the collaboration that produced a series of musicals that began with adaption of “Green Grow the Lilacs” into “Oklahoma” and continued with  Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific and The Sound of Music.

2009: “The Man That Got Away: After Ira, George” opens at the 92nd Street Y in New York.

2010: Fradle Freidenreich is scheduled to lead a panel discussion entitled “More Than a Book Launch...Passionate Pioneers: The Story of Yiddish Secular Education in North America, 1910-1960” at the Center for Jewish History.”

2010: In honor of Yom Yerushalayim, Young Israel of Southfield (Michigan) is scheduled to show “Alone on the Ramparts,” a film that tells the story of the battle for Jerusalem during the War of Independence.

2010: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England by Anthony Julius, Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism Into Philosophy in Light of the Unpublished Seminars of 1933-1935 by Emmanuel Faye, Stranger From Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness by Daniel Maier-Katkin, The Life of Irene Nemirovsky: 1903-1942 by Olivier Philipponnat and Patrick Lienhardt, Dimanche And Other Stories by Irène Némirovsky and The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy by Richard A. Posner.

2010: The Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial institution is scheduled to hold a ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany beginning at 5:00 p.m. this evening at the Yad Vashem's Memorial to the Jewish Soldiers and Partisans. Hundreds of Jewish World War II veterans of the Allied armies, the majority from the former Soviet Union, are scheduled to attend the ceremony, along with Jewish partisans, wounded soldiers from the war against the Nazis, underground fighters, volunteers from the Yishuv who fought in the British forces and veterans of the Jewish Brigade, as well as diplomatic representatives from the Allied countries.

 2010: The Obama administration announced today that indirect, American-brokered talks had resumed between Israel and the Palestinians, capping a year of efforts by Washington to revive the peace process.

2011: The Center for Jewish History, American Society for Jewish Music and Center for Traditional Music and Dance are scheduled to  present: The Weimar Klezmer Republic: Creating a Center for Yiddish Culture in Germany

2011(5th of Iyar, 5771): Seventy-two year old television news director Dennis Gralnick passed away. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

2011(5th of Iyar, 5771): Yom Hazikaron – Israel Remembrance Day

2011: At 11 AM today a two-minute siren sounded throughout the country to mark Memorial Day, followed by ceremonies at Israel's 44 military cemeteries.

2011: The 2011 Independence Day ceremony is scheduled to take place at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. Among the torch lighters are Orit Dror, a member of Kibbutz Lavi who, together with her husband, donated her son's organs after he died of a terminal illness, and saved the life of a 13-year-old girl; Zehava Dankner (mother of businessman Nochi Dankner), a philanthropist who supported, among others, residents surrounding Gaza, and who is involved in matters of education, security and health; Barbra Goldstein, a representative of Hadassah, the women's Zionist organization of America, which is marking its 100th anniversary this year; Yovi Tsuma, a social activist who participates in a group of young Ethiopian volunteers who help members of the immigrant community who have encountered difficulties in absorption; and Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg, a member of the Chabad movement, who lost his daughter and son in law in the November 2008 terrorist attack at the Chabad house in Mumbai. This annual ceremony in Jerusalem that marks the transition from the solemn Yom Hazicharon (Memorial Day) to the joyous Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day.)

2011: Moshe Cohen, director of Heichal Hatora – an Orthodox Jewish Day School in Buenos Aires - was hit in the head with an iron bar as his assailant shouted "Jew, Jew." Cohen was hospitalized with a serious head injury. The attacker was arrested. Buenos Aires was the scene of one of the most murderous attacks on Jewish civilians outside of Israel.

2012(16th of Iyar, 5572): Eight-four year old Vidal Sassoon passed away today (As reported by Bruce Weber)

2012: Kadima council chairman Haim Ramon marred the celebrations in the party over its chairman Shaul Mofaz’s joining the cabinet t0day, when he sent Mofaz a fiercely worded letter announcing that he was quitting his post and leaving the party altogether. (As reported by Gil Hoffman)

2012: A special benefit concert for Woman to Woman - The Jerusalem Shelter for Battered Women is scheduled to take place at the City Winery in New York City.

2012: The Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present “Autobiography and Biography: Herzl, Freud, and Stefan Zweig, during which Professor Mark Gelber is scheduled to discuss Stefan Zweig’s brilliant but problematic depictions of Herzl (and Zionism) and Freud (psychoanalysis, anti-Semitism, and Jewish survival) in his late autobiographical work written predominantly during the period of his American exile, The World of Yesterday

2012:Dr. Erica Brown is scheduled to address the annual meeting of The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.

2012: “Barbara Bain Remains ‘Love Struck’ When It Comes To Theatre” published today describes the career of the Emmy award winning actress who will be forever remember for her role in “Mission Impossible.

2012: The Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey is scheduled to sponsor a public forum titled "Jews and Jazz" in Whippany, NJ.

2012: The 2nd Annual Cleveland’s Funniest Rabbi Contest and Lag B’omer Celebration is scheduled to take place tonight at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.

2012: The United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, which was sponsored by House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), passed today by a vote of 411-2

2013: The National Archives will show the Academy Award-winning HBO documentary of Gerda Weissman’s life, “One Survivor Remembers” and then the celebrated author, 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, and Holocaust survivor will discuss the film after the screening.

2013: Shiva minyan for Miles Lane, the brother of Harriet Gasway and the brother-in-law of Bill Gasway as held this evening in Cedar Rapids.

2013: The Skirball Center for Adult Center for Jewish Learning is scheduled to present a lecture by /Dr. Avivah  Gottlieb  Zornberg entitled “To  Be or Not to Be: A Tale of Five Sisters” based on Torah narrative about the five daughters of Zelofchad.

2013: Researchers from Tel Aviv University are tentatively positing that they may have discovered the origin of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Despite immense amounts of research into dementia and other cognitive diseases that affect vast numbers of people around the world, and significant progress in addressing the illnesses, there are no known cures. The Israeli research points at a protein in the brain called tomosyn as a possible key to the diseases, Israel Radio reported today.

2013: Criticism of Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s proposed budget cuts and tax hikes mounted today, with social protest groups announcing two planned demonstrations against perceived violations of Lapid’s pre-election campaign promises.

2013(29th of Iyar, 5773): Eighty-seven year old Alan Abelson the former editor of Barron’s and iconoclastic business columnist passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

2013(29th of Iyar, 5773): Ninety-three year old Baruch Spiegel, “one of the last surviving” Warsaw Ghetto fighters passed away today in Montreal.

2014: “The Wonders” and “Joe Papp in Five Acts” are scheduled to be shown at the National Center for Jewish Film’s 17th annual Film Festival.

2014: Noah Thalblum and Curtis Litow are scheduled to “share their respective about their experiences in Israel last summer” as Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids celebrates another year of Israesli independence.

2015: The Temple Emanu-El Skirball Center is scheduled to present “25 Questions for a Jewish Mother” with Judy Gold.

2015: “The Outrageous Sophie Tucker” is scheduled to be shown at the 18th annual Jewish Film Festival.

2015: Israeli composer and sound artist Maya Dunietz is scheduled to present the U.S. premiere of her solo work at the Abrons Art Center.

2015: Israeli cellist Michael Katz and pianist Reanna Gutman are scheduled to perform as part of “Echoes of Hope, “ a celebration of the work and lives of brilliant composers who were directly affect by WW II and the Holocaust.”

2016(1st of Iyar, 5776): Rosh Chodesh Iyar; for more see http://downhomedavartorah.blogspot.com/

2016: In St. Augustine, FL, the City Commission of America’s Oldest European City is scheduled to proclaim May as “St. Augustine Jewish Heritage Month” at the Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting at 5:00pm this evening.

2016: “Artis, in partnership with the School of Visual Arts (SVA), and the International Center for Photography (ICP) is scheduled to present a lecture with acclaimed photographer Miki Kratsman an Argentinean-born photographer who has lived in Israel since 1971.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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