The Legacy of Emanuel Ringelblum

Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum, who helped create a secret archive of documents about life and death in the Warsaw Ghetto, was executed with his family by the Nazis, amid the Ghetto’s ruins, on this date in 1944. Ringelblum had kept a descriptive diary, Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto, which survived his death. He had also organized […]

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Arthur Szyk, a “Soldier in Art”

by Bennett Muraskin   ALTHOUGH ARTHUR SZYK (1894-1951) is best known today for his Illuminated Hagaddah (1940), still widely used at Passover seders, he was in many ways a political artist, a self-described “soldier in art,” who used his talents to attack fascism, call for the rescue to European Jewry from Nazi-occupied Europe, promote the American war effort and make […]

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Helena Rubinstein

Helena Rubinstein, creator of a cosmetics empire was born in Krakow, Poland on this date in 1872. She emigrated to Australia in 1902 and began to develop “beauty creams” made with a lanolin base, which was hugely abundant in the sheep-rich country. Within a few years she had fashionable salons in Sydney and in London. […]

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Joseph Rotblat

Sir Joseph Rotblat, a physicist who received the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on nuclear disarmament, was born in Poland on this date in 1908. Prior to World War II, the mostly self-taught Rotblat conducted experiments in nuclear fission. When World War II broke out, he was working at Liverpool University under James […]

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Jews in the Soviet-Polish War

The decisive Battle of Warsaw ended in an enormous defeat for the Soviet Red Army by the Polish armed forces on this date in 1920. Russian Jews had already been caught for a year in the middle of a war among warring Red and White Russian armies as well as Ukrainian and Polish forces, with some 100,000 Jews killed. The anti-Bolshevik White […]

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Liszt’s Greatest Pupil

Carl Tausig, a virtuoso pianist considered to be Franz Liszt’s most accomplished pupil, died in Leipzig at age 29 on this date in 1871. Born in Warsaw to a pianist-composer father, Tausig was introduced to Liszt at 14 and became his favorite student, accompanying the master on concert tours. He was also close friends with Richard Wagner, many of whose operas he adapted for piano, and  Johannes […]

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A Walk Across the Border

by Elaine Steinmetz I HAVE GROWN accustomed to my story. I have through the years shaped it – like a bird building a nest, I have enlarged the narrative, put layers of gathered soft material to pad the unknown. Now, at age 92 (how is that possible!?), I own the story of my walk across […]

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