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Emma Goldman’s Ice Cream Shop

by Zachary Solomon   IT WAS JOHANN MOST, the anarchist who popularized the phrase “propaganda of the deed” to describe leftwing terrorism, who helped inspire Emma Goldman and Alexander (“Sasha”) Berkman in their attempt to assassinate steel magnate Henry Clay Frick in 1892. Yet by the time the attack would become news (and Berkman would spend fourteen years in prison for it), Most was its outspoken critic, […]

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Splits in the Yiddish Socialist Movement

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THEIR HISTORY by Hershl Hartman Published in the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents MY BOLSHEVIK MOTHER in 1929 named me Hirsh Naftoli — not after departed grandfathers or uncles, but after two assassins of the diverse Socialist movements in Eastern Europe. You may have heard of one or both of them: […]

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Why Berkman Shot Frick

Nine steelworkers and at least one Pinkerton guard were killed in battles that raged on this date in 1892 at Andrew Carnegie’s Homestead Steel Works in Pittsburgh. The Pinkertons had been brought in to protect scabs imported to replace striking workers; the conflict involved guns and a homemade cannon forged by the strikers. The strike would last for months until the courts crushed the […]

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Electrifying Germany

Industrialist Emil Rathenau, who met Thomas Alva Edison in Paris at the 1881 international electricity exhibition and purchased the right to use his patents to bring power stations, railways, and electrical machines to Germany, died at 76 on this date in 1915. In 1884, Rathenau contracted with the magistrate of Berlin to string city streets with electricity […]

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October 29: Assassinating the Ghetto’s Jewish Police

Jewish resistance leaders in the Warsaw Ghetto assassinated Jacob Lejkin, deputy head of the Ghetto’s Jewish police, on this date in 1942. The assassination was planned by Emilia Landau, 17, who would be killed in the first Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on January 18, 1943; Eliyahu Rozanski, who pulled the trigger and would be killed on […]

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July 22: The Targeted Assassination

Israel bombed the Gaza City house of Salah Shehade, who led the military wing of Hamas, on this date in 2002, killing Shehade as well as fourteen other people. The attack with a 2,200-lb. bomb wounded more than fifty others and destroyed two houses while partially destroying nine others and damaging twenty more. Shehade, 49, […]

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July 9: Assassinating a Nazi

David Frankfurter, a Croatian Jew who in 1936 assassinated Wilhelm Gustloff, a leading Nazi in Switzerland, was born on this date in 1909. Frankfurter, the son of a rabbi, was studying medicine in Germany when the Nazis came to power. He continued his studies in Bern, Switzerland in 1934, where he witnessed growing Nazi sentiment […]

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