Friday, February 17, 2017

This Day, February 18, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


February 18

1229: During The Sixth Crusade, Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor signed a ten-year truce with al-Kamil, regaining Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem with neither military engagements nor support from the papacy. Prior to the Sixth Crusade, Pope Gregory III had used the Crusading Spirit to impose anti-Semitic legislation.  Frederick II was involved in a power struggle with the Papacy.  As part of that he struggle, he defied Rome and granted a charter of privileges to the Jews of Vienna in 1238.

1239: The ten year truce between Emperor Frederick II and the Sultan of Egypt came to an end.  During this period, 1236, the Emperor issued a decree refuting the accusations of ritual murder and providing for the protection of his Jewish subjects.

1488: The first printed eviction of tractate Gittin of the Babylonian Talmud was published in Soncino, Italy

1546: Martin Luther passed away.  Luther was a significant figure in the movement to reform Christianity.  He extended the hand of friendship to the Jews, thinking that he could win them over to his side with kindness.  When the Jews rejected his goal - conversion - Luther turned on them.  By 1544, he was publishing a pamphlet entitled "Concerning the Jews and Their Lies." Jews were characterized as “venomous, virulent, thieves, brigands and disgusting vermin."  According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, "'...Luther's ferocious castigation of the Jews provided fuel for anti-Semites and vicious force of that legacy was still evident in Nazi propaganda.'"

1564: Michelangelo passed away. Among his works were a statue of Moses that had horns and a statue of an uncircumcised David.

1574: An auto-de-fe took place in Mexico City; nearly 100 people were sentenced that day, including New Christians.

1577: The Jews of Safed requested assistance from the Sultan for persecution by local officials. In a letter to the local Ottoman officials, the Sultan told his people that the Jews, "have complained of wrong done to them." The Jews were forced to pay high taxes, transport dung on Saturdays, were levies tolls on the road to Damascus, and were beaten with a strip of metal. The Sultan ordered his people not to molest the Jews, to investigate and give back what the Jews are owed.

1653: After Cromwell’s government released him today, William Prynne returned to writing pamphlets on a variety of subjects including one call the “Short Demurrer” in which he expressed his opposition to Manasseh Ben Israel’s plea to Oliver Cromwell to overturn King Edward’s 13th century ban and allow the Jews to return to the British Isles.

1723: In Prussia a revised form of the "Aeltesten-reglement" (Constitution of the Jewish Community) was issued.  The original document which was supposed to be read every in the synagogue was issued in March of 1722.

1743: Premiere performance of Handel’s “Samson” at Covent Garden, an oratorio based on the life of the Biblical figure described in the Book of Judges.

1757: In Avignon, France, a local townsman walking through the ghetto on a dark night, stumbled and fell into a well near the synagogue. Fortunately he was not hurt. The day was declared a local holiday for generations. The rationale was that had the townsman drowned so near the synagogue, the Jewish community would have been accused of complicity in his death. 

1794(18th of Adar): Rabbi Alexander Suskind of Horodno author of Yesod ve-Shoresh ha-Avodah passed away

1804:  Ohio University founded in Athens, Ohio. Today approximately 10% of its 17,000 students are Jewish.  There is an on-campus Hillel Chapter at Ohio University.

1813: Emancipation of the Jews of Mecklenberg, Germany

1816: Birthdate of Maurice Block the Berlin born statistician and economist who moved to Paris in the 1840’s to work for the French ministry of agriculture.

1839: Birthdate of Zadoc Kahn, the Alsatian native who became Chief Rabbi of France.
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0011_0_10603.html

1839: Birthdate of Charles S. Baker who while serving as Congressman from New York in 1890 submitted a resolution “protesting…the enforcement by Russia of the edicts of 1882 against the Jews” and requesting the President to submit a protest to the Czar’s government.

1840: Sultan Abdul Mejid I issued a royal decree absolving the Jewish community on the island of Rhodes of charges “of having killed a gentile child” so that his blood could be used in baking matzoth. The day was celebrated as The Purim of Rhodes.  The Sultan was a reformer who was trying to make the Ottoman Empire a modern nation as can be seen by his attempts to replace the turban with the fez, introduce the use of banknotes and the issuing of a patent so that a telegraph system could be built in Turkey.

1846: Beginning of the Galician peasant revolt.  At this time Galicia was a province of the Austrian Empire.  The revolt was one of many that would sweep Europe during the late 1840’s. By 1851, once the revolts in Galicia had been suppressed, the Reform Constitution would be revoked and, among other things, Jews would lose their newly won right to purchase land in Galicia,

1848(14th of Adar I, 5608): Purim Katan

1850: In Budapest, Karl Ullmann and his wife gave birth to Alexander de Erény Ullmann the political economist who served in the Hungarian Parliament from 1884 to 1892.  His father who was born in 1809 and passed away in 1880 founded the first Hungarian Insurance Company.  Alexander passed away in 1897.

1850 In New York Abigail Kursheedt (nee Judah) and Asher Kursheedt gave birth to Serena Kursheedt

1851(16th of Adar I, 5611): Forty-six year old Car Gustav Jacob Jacobi, “the first Jewish mathematician to be appointed professor at a German university” passed away today in Berlin

1852: According to reports published today, a juror named Shubal Hubbard claimed that Alexander Christallar, a witness for the defendant, had tried to engage him in inappropriate social contact during a break in the trial.  In his deposition, Hubbard claimed that Christallar was a Jew and that he was President of a Williamsburg Synagogue.  He also claimed that Christallar had invited him to a celebration at which Oysters would be served.

1853: August Belmont, the Jewish banker and Democratic political leader, and Caroline Slidell gave birth to August Belmont, Jr. who was raised as a Christian.

1856: Full civil rights are granted to Turkish Jews

1859: Birthdate of Solomon Rabinowitz who became famous under the penname of Sholem Aleichem.  Born in Russia, Sholem Aleichem first wrote in Hebrew and only later turned to writing in Yiddish.  He moved from Russia to Denmark, to Switzerland and ultimately moved to the United States at the outbreak of World War I.  Unfortunately, he only lived in America for two years and he passed away in 1916.  Known as the Yiddish Mark Twain, Sholem Aleichem is most famous for creating Tevya and all of the wonderful characters who lived with him in the shtetels of the Pale.  He used humor to portray both the joy and the suffering of his co-religionists.  He became famous among generations of Jews who had thought they had escaped from all of that "Yiddish stuff" and gentiles as well with the production of Fiddler on the Roof.  Some of his famous lines include: "In the mud, but not of the mud."  "When a Jew eats a chicken one of them was sick." "A bachelor is a man who comes to work each morning from a different direction." "Gossip is nature's telephone." "Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor." "No matter how bad things get you got to go on living, even if it kills you." "The rich swell up with pride, the poor from hunger." Some of his works that have been translated into English include Tevye's Daughters, The Adventures of Menahem-Mendel, The Best of Sholom Aleichem and The Great Fair which is his autobiography.

 1861: With the Italian unification almost complete, King Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont, Savoy and Sardinia assumes the title of King of Italy.  Jews were active participants in the fight to unify Italy and the newly unified Italian nation was certainly hospitable to its Jewish citizens.  Historian Elliot Rosenberg cites a quote from his fellow historian Howard Morely Sacher to capture what the new Italian nation meant to the Jewish people.  “In 1848, there had been no European country save Spain where the restrictions placed upon Jews were more galling and more humiliating than in Italy.  After 1860, there was no country on the continent of Europe where conditions were better for Jews.”

1866: Birthdate of Samuel Krauss, a professor at the Jewish Teachers' Seminary in Budapest and the Jewish Theological Seminary in Vienna who was a contributor to the Jewish Encyclopedia.

1866: Today, in Philadelphia, The Free Sons of Israel instituted two additional lodges – Manasseh Lodge 17 and Moses Lodge 18.

1868: Birthdate of Rockford, Illinois native Albert Henry Loeb, the husband of Anna Bohnen with whom he had four sons – Alan, Ernest, Thomas and Richard (of Leopold and Loeb fame) – and who practiced law in Chicago before becoming an executive with Sears, Roebuck and Company.

1870: State Supreme Court Justice Cardozo denied a motion for an injunction in an action styled the Mayor of New York City vs. the Beach Pneumatic Transit Company.

1871: Rabbi Wise delivered the first in a series of lectures on the “Origin of Christianity” at Steinway Hall in New York City.  Reverend O.B. Frothingham introduced the Rabbi.

1873: Birthdate of Theodore Albert Peyser the native of Charleston, West Virginia who worked in Cincinnati before moving to New York where he was eventually elected to Congress from New York’s 17th Congressional District.

1874(1st of Adar, 5634): Rosh Chodesh Adar

1874: Ida Morgenthau, the daughter of Lazarus Morgenthau married William J. Erich.

1874: Lazarus Morgenthau founded a society that would provide dowries for orphan Jewish girls.

1876: In Slovakia, 37 year old Herman Ehrenthal and Veron Ehrenthal gave birth do Roazlia Ehrenthal who became Rozalia Fleischmann.

1876: In Maryland, Circuit Court Judge Pinkney, ruled that the City of Baltimore did not have the right give public funds to a variety of charitable organizations including the Hebrew Hospital.

1877(6th of Adar, 5637): Carolyn (Norris) Horowitz, the wife of Phineas Jonathan Horowitz, the native of Baltimore and graduate of Jefferson Medical College who rose through the ranks of the Navy to become Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, passed away today seven years before her husband retired.

1880: Mr. Moses Levinson of New Rochelle sued the New Haven Railroad today in United States Circuit Court for “exemplary damages.”  Levinson contended that he had been wrongfully put off one of the New Haven’s trains when the conductor claimed he had not paid for his ticket.  Levinson sought $5,000 in damages.  The jury awarded him $750.

1882: Birthdate of Frank Angone the native of New York who gained fame as featherweight Benny Yanger, nicknamed The Tipton Slasher.

1882: “The Russian War on the Jews” published today described the renewed attacks to which the Jews of Kiev have been subjected and Count Totleben’s refusal to intervene without special instructions from the government at St. Petersburg.

1882: In Philadelphia, PA, the old passenger station belong to the Pennsylvania Railroad, has been configured to provide temporary accommodations for the Jewish refugees who will arrive in the city after having escaped from the recent round of pogroms in Russia.  A supply of food has been gathered for the refugees and Dr. Thomas G. Morton is the head of a group of doctors who will be available to take care of their medical needs.  In the meantime, an Employment Committee will make every effort to find jobs for the new arrivals.

1886: Birthdate of Madison, SD, native Clare Stephen Jacobs who won a bronze medal for pole vaulting in the 1908 Summer Olympics.

1888(6th of Adar I, 5648): Seventy-two year Lazar Zweifel a “prolific writer and one of the first to use Talmudic and idiomatic Hebrew for the modern poetry which he frequently composed, stanzas being interspersed throughout his works” passed away today.

1888: Birthdate of John U. “Jack” Zuta the Chicago gangster who had the unique distinction of working for both Al Capone and Bugs Moran and whose death unearthed records that helped put away several crooked politicians.

1887: In New York, the Hebrew Technical Institute moved from its location on Crosby Street to its new school building at 34 and 36 Stuyvesant Street. Founded in 1884, the school provides vocational training to young Jews most of whom are the children of recent immigrants.

1890: Ida Cohen (nee Kuhn) and Eduard Cohen gave birth to Albert Cohen.

1890:  In Moscow, according to the Gregorian calendar, Leonid Pasternak, a professor at the Moscow School of Paint, Sculpture and Architecture and concert pianist Rosa Kaufman gave birth to Boris Pasternak, the author of Doctor Zhivago

1893: “Regulators in Louisiana” published today described “the existence of an oath-bound organization having for its object the banishment of Jewish merchants…and Negroes from Tangipahoa Parish.”  Among those threatened was David Stern, a leading merchant in Amity, LA.

1893: Seventy-year old Gerson von Bleichröder the second generation German-Jewish banker who provided his services to Bismarck and Prussia passed away today.

1894: It was reported today that George Eliot had told American author Charles Godfrey Leland “that in order to write Daniel Deronda she had read through 200 books.” Leland wrote that he “longed to tell her that she had better have learned Yiddish and talked with 200 Jews and been taught, as Iwas by my friend Solomon the Sadducee, the art of distinguishing Fraulein Lowenthal of the Ashkenazim from Senorita Aguado of the Sephardim by the corners of their eyes.” (Daniel Deronda is the philo-Semitic novel written by Mary Anne Evans who used the penname George Eliot.  At the time of this entry, Leland was doing research on gypsies.)

1894: “All Fools’ Day” published claimed that 17th century antiquarian John Brand attributed the origin of April Fool’s Day to the Jews.  According to Brand, Noah sent the dove out of the ark before the waters had abated on a day which corresponds to April 1.  The celebration of fools on this date reminds of the original “fool’s errand” on which Noah sent the Dove.

1894: It was reported today that the late Albert S. Rosenbaum passed away as a result of heart disease which probably does not offer any comfort to the widow and five children who survived him.

1897: In Paris, French author Emil Zola was attacked by a mob on his way home from the court where his case was being heard.  The police were forced to intervene to prevent a lynching.  The frustrated mob then “made a rush for the Jews threatening to throw them into the Seine.”

1901: Winston Churchill makes his maiden speech in the House of Commons. At the time, Churchill was member of the Conservative Party serving as an MP for Oldham.  In 1904, the Conservatives at Oldham would tell Churchill that they could no longer support him.  This would force Churchill to seek a new constituency which would be Manchester North-West where a third of the voters were Jewish.  This change in political fortune would force Churchill to deal with Jewish political issues for the first, but not the last time, in his career.  For more on this topic you should Sir Martin Gilbert’s highly readable Churchill and the Jews.

1903(21st of Shevat, 5663): Seventy-four year old Moses Mielziner, the Prussian born American rabbi who had been President of the Hebrew Union College since 1900 passed away today and was succeeded by Gotthard Deutsch who filled the position of “acting President.”

1904(2nd of Adar. 5664): Seventy-nine year old composer and pianist Emanuel Abraham Aguilar, the husband of Sarah Aguilar and the brother of novelist Grace Aguilar passed away today in his native city of London.
 
1904: In Florence, Italy, Gilda Borghi and Mario Mordechai Pacifici who descended “from an ancient Sephardic and religious Jewish family of Spanish origin and of rabbinical tradition settled in Tuscany (first in Leghorn, then in Florence) in the 16th century gave birth to Riccardo Pacifici, an Italian rabbi who would be murdered at Auschwitz.

1904: Birthdate of Aubrey Louis Goodman who led Baylor to a SWC championship before leading the University of Chicago to a Big-Ten Championship giving him the unique distinction of being one of the few players to play a key role in winning two different major football championships.

1906: Dr. Thomas R. Slicer delivered the last of a series of lectures on “Fraternity” at the People’s Institute in Cooper Union, an organization that is unique because it membership includes Jews as well as “Catholic, Protestant, agnostics, atheists and Christian Scientists.”

1907: State Express 111 through State Express a cigarette brand created by London tobacco merchant Sir Albert Levy were all “registered under UK Registration No.290529” today.

1910: In Lithuania, Rabbi Moshe Yom Tov Wachtfogel gave birth to Nosson Meir Wachtfogel who became known as the Lakewood Mashgiach.

1911: Die geschiedene Frau (The Divorcée), “an operetta in three acts with a libretto by Victor Léon, was performed for the first time in Paris as La divorcée

1913: During the Third Republic, when real power was held by the Prime Ministers, Raymond Poincaré becomes President of France. Along with General Pershing (commander of the AEF), Poincare opposed the Armistice contending that Allied armies needed to penetrate deeper into Germany lest the German people not realize that their army had been beaten.  Their view did not prevail.  The German Army marched back into Germany giving rise to the “stabbed in the back” myth that helped Hitler come to power.  During the 1920’s, Poincare intervened on behalf of the Jews of Poland when he convinced the Polish government to refrain from adopting legislation that would have discriminated against her Jewish citizens.

1913(11th of Adar I, 5673): Isaac Radinski, a Chicago merchant, passed away today.

1913: “The Prisoner of Zenda” the film version of the novel by the same name produced by Adolph Zukor was released in the United States today.

1914: Charles Edward Sebag-Montefiore and Muriel Alice Ruth de Pass gave birth to Denzil Charles Sebag-Montefiore

1915: As of today, the fund of the American Jewish Relief Committee for Sufferers from the War has collected $482, 952.13.

1915: The American cruiser Tennessee arrived in Alexandria carrying refugees “from the coast of Syria” and Palestine who were escaping from the Ottomans.

1915:  The Red Cross Fund which Jacob H. Schiff serves as treasurer increased its total by $1,112.80 bring the total collected to $460, 060.47.

1915: “The development of the educational and social life of Jewish young people and the improvement of the economic conditions through the operation of 200 schools under the auspices of the Alliance Israelite Universelle of Paris were partly described at a memorial meeting” tonight “the founder of the organization, Narcesse Leven.

1916: Birthdate of Maria Victoria Bloch-Bauer, who as Maria Altmann gained fame for her “successful, five decades long fight to regain five Gustav Klimt paintings owned by her family that had been stolen by the Nazis during World War II.

1916: “The Joint Distribution Committee of the Jewish Relief Fund issued a report” today that showed that $2,900,000 has been sent to aid the Jews suffering in the war zones including $1,285,000 to Russia, $860,000 to Poland and Lithuania, $610,000 to Austria-Hungary and $142,000 in Palestine.

1917: Dr. Samuel Schulman is scheduled to speak on “The Problem of American Judaism” this morning at Temple Beth-El.

1917: At the Free Synagogue meeting in Carnegie Hall, Rabbie Wise is scheduled to speak on “Does the Soul Survive?”

1917: Dr. Silverman is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The Martrydom of the Jews” this moring at Temple Emanu-El on Fifth Avenue.

1917: It was reported today that the American Jewish Relief Committee had received the following contributions from local committees: $1,039, Baltimore; $1,000, Indiana of which $18 came from Wabash; $35, Champagne, Illinois.

1918: Twenty-five year old Aaron Maiberg, a native of Russia who emigrated to Canada in 1912 enlisted today and served with the  38th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers which was part of “the Jewish Legion.:

1918: Morris Rothenberg, Chairman of the Zionist Committee of New York, presided over the memorial service held in honor of the late Jechiel Tchlenow, the Russian born doctor who passed away in London only months after having participated in the negotiations that produced the Balfour Declaration.

1919: In Chicago, on the final evening  of the Zionist Convention, Meyer Abrams is scheduled to chair a special session at the Hebrew Institute where all of the papers including The Jewish State,” “The Zion Commonwealth” and “The Jerusalem Printing Works” will be presented in the Hebrew language.

1920: The Jewish Court of Arbitration held its first session

1924: Birthdate of Canadian born actress Bessie Hope Wolfe Garber who “hosted the Canadian television show, At Home with Hope Garber.

1927: Birthdate of Michael “Mike” Harari, the sabra who became an officer in Mossad.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/28/world/middleeast/michael-harari-israeli-agent-likened-to-james-bond-dies-at-87.html?hpw&rref=obituaries&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=HpHedThumbWell&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0

 1927: The London Gazette reported from Whitehall that “Letters Patent have passed the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, granting the Dignity of a Baronet of the said United Kingdom to the undermentioned gentlemen and the heirs male of their respective lawfully begotten: Sir Joseph Duveen, of Millbank in the City of Westminster”

1929: First Academy Awards are announced. “Broadway Melody” produced by Irving Thalberg was named Best Picture for 1928 – 1929. “All Quiet on the Western Front” directed by Lewis Milestone was named Best Picture of 1929-1930.

1929: In Brooklyn, Lena and Max Weinrib gave birth to Jerome Weinrib, the retired chairman of ABC Carpet.
http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/local-obituaries/jerome-weinrib-abc-carpet-chairman-dies/PiZUMURMn5cDSFVpTAnQfP/
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/17/business/jerome-weinrib-abc-carpets-old-school-proprietor-dies-at-86.html?hpw&rref=obituaries&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well

1930: Birthdate of St. Louis native James Leslie “Jimmy” Jacobs the multi-talented athlete who concentrated on handball and managing boxers – a passion which to him co-founding the production companies “The Greatest Fights of the Century” and “Big Fights, Inc.”
http://www.nytimes.com/1988/03/24/obituaries/jim-jacobs-tyson-s-co-manager-and-handball-titlist-dies-at-58.html

1930: Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's "Simple Simon" premieres in New York

1931(1st of Adar, 5691): Rosh Chodesh Adar

1931(1st of Adar, 5691): Fifty year old Russian born American actor Louis Wolheim who gave a memorable performance in “All Quiet on the Western Front” passed away today.

1931: King Levinsky fought a four round exhibition with former Heavy Weight Champion Jack Dempsey. Levinsky the scion of a Jewish family from Chicago that had a fish business on Maxwell Street

1932:  Birthdate of Czech born film director Milos Forman.  Forman’s father was Jewish but his mother was not.  They died in the camps.

1932: O.R. Miller of Albany, “an official of the New York Civic League” was reported today to be one of those wishing to testify against the confirmation of Judge Benjamin N. Cardoza who has been nominated by President Hoover to serve as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

1933: Marinus van der Lubbe, the man who will be accused of setting the Reichstag Fire, arrived in Berlin. There are those who contend the fire was really set by the Nazis.  Regardless, they used it as tool to consolidate their power weeks after Hitler became Chancellor.

1933: “The Mystery of the Wax Museum” a horror film directed by Michael Curtiz was released in the United States today.

1934(3rd of Adar, 5694): “Dr. Heinrich York Steiner, Hungarian Jewish writer, friend of Dr. Theodore Herzl” and one of the founders of the Zionist movement passed away today at the age of 75.  Dr. York-Steiner, who was born in Hungary, spent most of his life in Vienna.  Known as a novelist, critic and dramatist, he became friendly with Dr. Herzl as a young man and worked closely with him to form Zionist groups. He played an important part in the creation of the World Zionist Organization.”

1935: Nineteen days after premiere in New York City, “The Good Fairy,” a comedy directed by William Wyler and produced by Carl Laemmle, Jr. was released in the United States today.

1936: As a result of the assassination of Swiss Nazi leader Wilhelm Gustloff on February 4, today, “the Swiss Federal Council ordered…the immediate suppression of all central or regional German Nazi organizations in Switzerland.”

1936: New York Governor Herbert H. Lehman was among the speakers at tonight’s fellowship dinner sponsored by the National Committee for Religion and Welfare Recovery where he told attendees “that something seemed to be wrong with the social as well as the economic order of the nation” and “called upon Protestants, Catholics and Jews to join in a new spiritual awakening…”

1936: Invitations were sent today to forty national leaders asking them to attend a meeting in Cincinnati called by Felix Warburg where plans will be made for raising the three and a half million dollars that the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has promised to provide assistance  to refugees from Eastern and Central Europe.

1936: In a reorganization of the League of Nations High Commission for Refugees Coming From Germany, for now, Norman Bentwich, the director of the High Commission, a professor at the Hebrew University and former Attorney-General of Palestine will be responsible for providing economic assistance to the refugees.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that owing to German influence there had been in recent months a concentrated Italian drive against the appointment of Jews to leading positions in the economic and political life of the state.

1938: “The Baroness and the Butler” a romantic comedy featuring J. Edward Bromberg and Joseph Schildkraut was released in the United States today.

1938: “A Yank At Oxford” produced by Michael Balcon was released in the United States today.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that there were three successive Arab attacks on the Rana police post, near Acre. Some 150 Arab villagers in the Tulkarm area were arrested in connection with a number of recent railway sabotages.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that Maestro Toscanini had withdrawn from participating in the Nazi-dominated Salzburg Festival and announced his intention to come and conduct the Orchestra in Palestine.

1938(17th of Adar I, 5698): Seventy-three year old Vilna native “Joseph Polstein, a retired builder, a former president of Congregation Kehilath Jershurum in Manhattan and a director of Yeshiva College died today of pneumonia in his home” today.

1940: In Warsaw, two Jewish girls were raped by two German sergeants.

1942: Birthdate of Maurice Lévy, the Moroccan born French businessman who became “chief executive officer of Publicus.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/publicis-extends-maurice-levys-term-as-ceo-1410852508

1943: A group of 1,220 Jewish refugees from Poland arrived in Israel from Tehran where they had found refuge in 1942
http://www1.yadvashem.org/odot_pdf/Microsoft%20Word%20-%205872.pdf

1943: Joseph Goebbels gave his Total War speech which should have put an end to any later claims that the Allies were wrong in pursuing a policy of Unconditional Surrender when fighting the Axis.

1943(13th of Adar I, 5703): Seventy-four year old Dutch trade unionist Henri Polak who was President of the General Diamond Workers’ Union of the Netherlands died of pneumonia in Laren following which his wife Milly was shipped to Westerbrork where she died.

1943: The Nazis arrest the members of the White Rose movement.  The White Rose movement was an anti-Nazi movement inspired by German students.  It is important to remember that there were those in Germany who opposed Hitler and were willing to risk their lives to express that opposition. 

1945: The last of six convoys of deportees arrived at The Langenstein-Zwieberge, an under-camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp. 

1946: A clandestine radio transmitter known as the “Voice of Free Israel” that is reportedly operated by the Stern Gang was seized in Tel Aviv after “a house to house search by British Soldiers and police officers.”

1946: Clemens August Galen was named as a Cardinal.  During World War II, while serving as the Bishop of Munster (Germany), he opposed the Nazis.

1947: Birthdate of Eliot Engel, Congressman representing New York’s 17th District.

1947: “A Flag is Born” was scheduled to open in Boston, MA.

1948: “Mr. Roberts” featuring Steven Hill, Larry Blyden and Sam Lembeck as “Sam Insigna” opened on Broadway today.

1949: Eamon de Valera resigns as Taoiseach (head of government) of Ireland. The controversial Irish leader was rumored to have been the illegitimate son of a Portuguese Jew, a rumor he vehemently denied. However de Valera was not an anti-Semite as can be seen by his support in 1937 for a provision in the Irish Constitution that explicitly recognized the existence and rights of the Jewish community in Ireland.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Knesset approved, by 79 votes to 16, the government's statement on the ruptured relations with the Soviet Union. The resolution upheld the role the Soviet Union played in the establishment of Israel in 1948, but found no justification for the Soviet role in breaking off the diplomatic relations between the two countries now. Mass meetings in New York asked the Soviet Union to "Let My People Go!"

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that in London the House of Commons backed the British government's decision to continue selling jet fighters to Arab nations to the exclusion of Israel.

1954: “The Long, Long Trailer” a comedy produced by Pandro S. Berman was released in the United States today.

1955: Pinchas Lavon’s resignation as Defense Minister was accepted ytoday.

1955: David Ben Gurion agrees to come out of retirement and serve as Defense Minister.  Four months later he will also agree to serve as Prime Minister.

1957(17th of Adar I, 5717): “Two civilians were killed by landmines, next to Nir Yitzhak, on the southern border of the Gaza Strip.”

1959(11th of Adar I, 5719): Fifty-three year old Viennese composer Erich Zeisl who came to New York via Paris after the Anschluss passed away today.
http://www.zeisl.com/
http://orelfoundation.org/index.php/composers/article/eric_zeisl/

1963(24th of Shevat, 5723): Shlomo-Yisrael Ben-Meir began serving as serving as a Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs

1965(15th of Adar I, 5725): Eight-six year old Paul Sachs, the Assistant Director of the Fogg Art Museum and founding member of The Museum of Modern Art who played a key role in making plans for protecting American art during WWII and retrieving art from war torn Europe as described in The Monument Men passed away today.
http://harvardmagazine.com/2002/09/portrait-of-the-artist-a.html
http://www.moma.org/learn/resources/archives/EAD/Sachsf

1966(28th of Shevat, 5726): Fifty-seven year old Robert Rossen, the director of the Oscar winning picture “All the King’s Men” passed away today.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USArossen.htm

1967(8th of Adar I, 5727): Robert Oppenheimer passed away.  The famed physicist was director of the Manhattan Project and is one of those referred to as the father of the Atomic Bomb.
http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0422.html

1969: The PLO attacked El-Al plane in Zurich Switzerland.  Long before 9/11, the Israelis were forced to deal with a level of vicious terrorism aimed at strangling their avenues of commerce and tourist industry.  As a result of the PLO attacks, the Israelis were the first to put sky marshals on their flights and to do in depth pre-screening of all passengers.  And yes, the head of the PLO was Yassar Arafat, the "partner for peace." 

1969(30th of Shevat, 5729): Rosh Chodesh Adar

1969(30th of Shevat, 5729): Mieczyslaus Zagajski, a native of Poland who came to the United States during WWII after which he became an industrialist and “collect of Jewish ceremonies objects’ Passed away today in Palm Beach, FL.

1969: BBC2 broadcast a dramatization of The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov

1970:  The Chicago Eight, including Abbe Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, were found not guilty of charges relating to the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention held in Chicago.

1973: A headline in the New York Times read "Half Baghdad's Jews Said to Apply to Leave; Property Seized."  "Half the members of the tiny Jewish community in Baghdad have applied for passports to leave Iraq in recent weeks in the face of a crackdown by Iraqi authorities, according to a first day account.

1973: In Montreal's Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Naim Kattan, an Iraqi-born Jew spoke at a memorial and protest rally for nine more Jews who had been murdered in Baghdad.  (page 300 for the dead)

1976(17th of Adar I, 5736): Seventy-seven year old John Barsha, the native of Russia originally known as Abraham Barshofsky who played basketball and football for Syracuse University before turning pro while in law school passed away today.

1976: In Brussels, the Second World Conference of Jewish Communities on Soviet Jewry continued for a second day.

1980: In Moscow, Ilya Spektor, is a photographer and amateur violinist and Bella Spektor, a professor in a Soviet college of music gave birth to singer-songwriter and pianist Regina Spektor.
http://jwa.org/thisweek/feb/18/1980/this-week-in-history-singer-songwriter-regina-spektor-is-born

 
1981: Israel's 60,000 teachers, who earn an average of $110 a week, staged a one-day strike today to press for a wage increase promised by the Government. The Government's decision in principle last month to grant the raise brought the resignation of Finance Minister Yigal Hurvitz, which resulted in the Government coalition losing its majority in Parliament. Negotiations, however, have continued.

1982(25th of Shevat, 5742): Ninety-two year old multi-talented musician Nathaniel Shilkret passed away today.
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Bio/Shilkret-Nat.htm
http://www.collateralworks.com/linernotes/natshilkret.html

1983(5th of Adar, 5743): Eighty-two year old Leopold Godowsky, Jr. the American violinist who held to create Kodachrome passed away.
http://www.invent.org/hall_of_fame/233.html

1983: “The King of Comedy” co-starring Jerry Lewis, Tony Randall and Sandra Berhnhard was released in the United States today.

1983: For the final time Stage 23 at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles for the taping of an episode of “Taxi.”

1983: “Lovesick” a comedy featuring “the ghost of Dr. Sigmund Freud” with a cast that included Ron Silver, Alan King, Selma Diamond and Larry Rivers was released in the United States today.

1988(30th of Shevat, 5748): Rosh Chodesh Adar

1990: Dozens of supporters are planning to lie down across the road here in front of Ariel Sharon's northern Negev ranch this morning to stop him from driving to Jerusalem for the Cabinet meeting where he plans to resign. But as the former general sees it, by resigning as Industry and Trade Minister he is not leaving; he is simply opening a new front. And the goal of this new campaign, he said in an interview, is to be Israel's next prime minister replacing Yitzhak Shamir.

1992(14th of Adar I, 5752): Purim Katan

1995: Actor Bodhi Elfman, the “only child of filmmaker Richard Elfman” got married today.

1997: Janet Yellen began serving as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton.

1997(11th of Adar I, 5757): Ninety-two year old Emily Hahn, the St. Louis born author best known for her writings about China passed away today.
http://www.nytimes.com/1997/02/19/arts/emily-hahn-chronicler-of-her-own-exploits-dies-at-92.html
http://www.susanbkason.com/2015/04/05/emily-hahn/#.WKZpKluQx9A

1999(2nd of Adar, 5759): Comedic actor and director Noam Pitlik passed away.

2001: The New York Times published an op-ed essay explaining the pardon of Marc Rich which did not mention the donations of almost two million dollars that Denise Rich had made to the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton’s senatorial campaign or the Clinton Library.
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/18/opinion/18CLIN.html?ex=1180238400&en=ddafe39be7a1b417&ei=5070&pagewanted=all

2002(6th of Adar I, 5762): Ahuva Amergi (30), Maj. Mor Elraz (25), St.-Sgt. Amir Mansouri and unidentified woman were murdered today by members of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Brigade who opened fire on the car driven by the woman and then hit the two soldiers who came to her aid.

2003: (16th of Adar I, 5763) Isser Harel, head of Mossad from 1952 until 1963, passed away.  He was in charge of the operation that brought Eichmann to Israel to stand trial.

2005(9th of Adar I, 5765): Lee Kahn passed away at the age of 101. She was one of the siblings of Helen Reichert, all of whom were centenarians.

2006: Shabbat Shekalim, the Sabbath of the Shekel.

2007: The 23rd International Book Fair opens in Jerusalem

2007: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of French Seduction: An American’s Encounter With France, Her Father, and the Holocaust by Eunice Lipton.

2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section “Poet’s Choice” by Robert Pinksy features a commentary on "The Amen Stone" and The Jewish Time Bomb" that appeared in Yehuda Amichai's last collection of poems, Open Closed Open.

2007: The Sunday Chicago Tribune book section included a review of Amanda Vaill's Somewhere, a biography of Jerome Wilson Rabinowitz who came to be known as Jerome Robbins the man who “conquered--and in many ways defined--both the musical and modern American ballet, a genius by nature…” 

2008: In New York, Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Drior Baitel performs his graduation recital at Mannes Concert Hall. 

2008: In the United States, FBI  domestic terror squads remain on the alert for any threats against synagogues and other potential Jewish targets in the United States after the assassination of the top Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyah and the movement's leader threatened to attack Israeli and Jewish institutions around the world.

2009: In, Manhattan’s East Village, the fourth and final part of a four part series The Comedy and Kabbalah of Relationships featuring Rabbi YY Jacobson

2009: At New York University, Professor Yoram Peri, head of the Chaim Herzog Institute for Media, Politics and Society at Tel Aviv University delivers a public lecture entitled "New Leadership in Israel and the Peace Process"

2009: Today, the IDF announced that apples grown by Israeli farmers in the Golan Heights will be exported to Syria.

2009: The New York Times reported that the American Tennis Channel will not televise the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships this week to protest the United Arab Emirates' refusal to grant an entry visa to Israeli player Shahar Peer

2009: Holocaust survivors voiced criticism of Yad Vashem's announcement that it will bestow its highest honor on Wilm Hosenfeld, a Nazi officer who helped save a Polish Jew, whose story became the basis for the film The Pianist.

2010: The 92nd St Y is scheduled to present another in the series Spiritual Journeys: Feminine Reflections on the Rhythms of Our Lives entitled “Adar: Increasing Joy” with   Rabbi Joyce Reinitz.

2010: Today, while the media is filled with stories about supposed Israeli responsibility for the death of Hamas leader in Dubai, Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer advanced to the semifinals of the Dubai Championship, after beating 10th seed Na Li in the quarterfinal match

2010: An IDF soldier was lightly wounded today by a bomb which exploded near a patrol unit on the security fence near the central Gaza Strip.

2010: Terrorists hurled a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli bus in Gush Etzion yesterday evening. There were no casualties, but the bus was damaged.

2010: The Washington Post features a review of Bible Babel: Making Sense of the Most Talked About Book of All Time by Kristin Swenson in which the reviewer recommends “Robert Alter’s books…as well as the exhilarating Richard Elliot Friedman’s Who Wrote the Bible?

2011: Einsatzgruppen The Death Brigades, the “harrowing two-part documentary meticulously details the Nazi killing squads charged with destroying entire Jewish populations in occupied Eastern Europe during WWII” is scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

2011: A Small Act is scheduled to be shown at the 21st Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

2011: The Portland Jazz Festival is scheduled to start today. “This year's theme is 'Bridges and Boundaries', which refers to bridging the two minority communities of Jewish Americans and African Americans.”

2011: A German prosecutor said today that he has opened a murder investigation against a key witness in the trial of alleged Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk. The probe is based on evidence Alex Nagorny may have been involved in mass killings at the Nazis'

2011: Friends and family celebrate the birthday of Joel Barnum, an un-presupposing pillar of the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community.

2011: The United States used its veto this afternoon to block a Security Council resolution declaring Israel’s settlement construction in the West Bank illegal. (As reported by Neil MacFarquhar)

2011: In “Auschwitz Shifts From Memorializing to Teaching,” Michael Kimmelman described the changing role of the site of the worst of the Death Camps.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/arts/19auschwitz.html?pagewanted=all

2012: Shabbat Shekalim, 5772

2012: “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldbeerg is scheduled to be shown at Beth El Temple Center in Belmont, MA

2012: “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray” is scheduled to be shown at Congregation Beth-El Jewish Film Festival in Fort Worth, TX!

2012: In Iowa City, Hillel is scheduled to present a concert by University of Iowa School of Music faculty members, Uriel Tsachor and Rachel Joselson.

2012: Palestinian terrorists in Gaza took advantage of stormy weather conditions to fire rockets towards large southern cities in Israel. A Grad-type rocket was launched in the direction of the Negev's largest city, Beersheba, today triggering air raid sirens.

2012: British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that Iran is clearly trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability, and if it succeeds it will set off a dangerous round of nuclear proliferation across the Middle East while the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin Dempsey said that an Israeli strike on Iran "wouldn’t achieve its long-term objectives" and would be "destabilizing."

2013: In London, Professor Neil Gregor is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Mockery as Politics: The Degenerate Art Exhibition, 1937” in which he examines how the Degenerate Art Exhibition of 1937 was used to prepare people intellectually for the Holocaust

2013: Hadassah’s National Center for Attorneys’ Councils and the Greater Washington Area Chapter Attorneys’ Council are scheduled to host a dinner honor those who are to be sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court

2013: At Tulane University, the second and final day of “Jewish Secular Utopias and Distopias in Central and Eastern Europe” co-sponsored by Dr. Brian Horowitz and Dr. Andrew Solin

2013: At Brandeis University, a two-day conference “Zionism in the Twenty-First Century” is scheduled to come to an end.

2013: “Religious Studies and Rabbinics” a conference designed to promote dialogue between the fields of religious studies and rabbinics is scheduled to open at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.

2013: President Shimon Peres today announced that he will present his American counterpart with the Presidential Medal of Distinction during his March stay in Israel.

2013: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today sent Pope Benedict XVI a letter of appreciation on behalf of the State of Israel, a week after the pontiff announced his imminent resignation from office. Benedict said he would step down as head of the Catholic Church at the end of February.

2013(8th of Adar, 5773): Eighty-three year old legal scholar Alan F. Westin passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/23/us/alan-f-westin-scholar-who-defined-right-to-privacy-dies-at-83.html?hpw&_r=0

2014: The Skirball Center is scheduled to present another in the series of lectures by Dr. Daniel Rynhold entitled “Rav Kook and the Heroism of the Holy.”

2014: “The Zigzag Kid” is scheduled to be shown at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center’s Jewish Film Festival.

2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco.”

2014: Friends and family celebrate the natal day of Joel Barnum, one of those quite “pillars” of the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community.

2014: “Hungarian rabbi said today he had uncovered 103 Torah scrolls stolen from Hungarian Jews during World War Two and stashed in a Russian library, adding he planned to restore and return them to the Jewish community.”

2014: “Two rockets fired from war-torn Syria struck the Golan Heights in northern Israel today, shortly after a secret visit to the area by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the army said.”   

2014: A three-day long on-line marathon brainstorming session sponsored by the Israeli government to Plan the Future of the Jewish People is scheduled to come to an end.

2015: In Buenos Aires, a group of prosecutors are scheduled to hold a march in memory of Alberto Nisamn the prosecutor who died “mysteriously” while “seeking to charge President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner with shielding Iranians from responsibility over the 1994 bombing of Jewish community center.

2015: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present a performance of “"Don't Cry, We'll All Meet on the Other Side," explores the story of Jewish Life in Communist Romania in the aftermath of the Holocaust

2015: Cellist Elad Kabilio is scheduled to “a musical journey through Modeling the Synagogue – from Dura to Touro.”

2015: “Above and Beyond” is scheduled to be shown at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.
http://www.ojmche.org/experience/film-2015-02-18-above-and-beyond

 2016: In Jerusalem Ariel Ben Abraham is scheduled to discuss his book God’s Love, a book inspired in the Chassidic approach to God's love.

2016: The Estonian Israeli Music Festival is scheduled to begin in Tel Aviv. 

2017(22nd of Shevat, 5777): Parashat Yitro; for more see http://downhomedavartorah.blogspot.com/

2017(22nd of Shevat, 5777): On the Jewish calendar, yahrzeit of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/rabbi-menachem-mendel-of-kotzk

2017: “Wounded Land” and “Kapo in Jerusalem” are scheduled to be shown at the 27th Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

2017: As part of their visit to Israel, a group of players from the National Football League (NFL) are scheduled to play players from the Israeli Football Association in an exhibition game today.

2017: At the second day of Limmud NY, following a wide variety of Shabbat morning services, Efraim Chalamish is scheduled to lead a discussion on “The Chinese Revolution and the Jewish State in 2016” and “David Gedzelman is scheduled to lead a discussion on “Constructing a News Zionism for the 21st Century on Old Foundations: What Do Gordon, Kaplan and Buber Have to Teach Us?”

2017: This evening, in Jerusalem, Eliah Zabaly is scheduled to perform a “piano solo recital dedicated to Aldo Ciccolini” who passed away in 2015.

 

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