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Jewish Budapest and Hungarian National Identity

by Martha Roth Discussed in this essay: The Invisible Jewish Budapest: Metropolitan Culture at the Fin de Siècle, by Mary Gluck. University of Wisconsin Press, 2016, 272 pages. BEFORE WE GET to the Budapest of café society, cutthroat rounds of klabriatsch (a card game of legendary difficulty), bosomy beauties, wine and song, a little history […]

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January 29: The Scientist of Poison Gas

Fritz Haber, a German chemist who won the Nobel Prize in his field in 1918 for inventing a method for synthesizing ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen gas, enabling the large-scale creation of fertilizers and explosives, died at 65 in Basel, an exile from Nazism, on this date in 1934. Like many German Jews, Haber converted […]

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December 12: Smuggling Lenin Into Russia

Alexander Israel Helphand, an Odessa-born socialist writer and activist who helped to mastermind the 1917 return of V.I. Lenin through Germany to revolutionary Russia in a sealed train, and convinced the German government to funnel two million marks to the Bolsheviks because of the likelihood that, in victory, they would withdraw Russia from World War […]

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December 11: Allenby Enters Jerusalem

British General Edmund Allenby entered Jerusalem on this date in 1917, following victory over the Ottoman Empire in the Battle of Jerusalem two days earlier. Commander of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, Allenby made his formal entry into Jerusalem on foot, in an expression of respect for the “holy city.” “[S]ince your city is regarded with affection […]

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December 9: Mark Gertler and D.H. Lawrence

Painter Mark Gertler, whose life, poverty, and death inspired at least three fictional characters — the main protagonist of Gilbert Cannan’s novel Mendel, Herr Loerke in D. H. Lawrence’s Women in Love, and Gombauld in Aldous Huxley’s Crome Yellow — was born in London on this date in 1891. Gertler, according to his biographer Sarah […]

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All In One Day

THOUGHTS ABOUT TISHA B’AV by Marji Yablon TISHA B’AV. The ninth of the Jewish month of Av. It’s a date that has lived in infamy for millennia. Numerous Jewish tragedies are said to have occurred on that summer day of fasting, in a chain that has wound through Biblical times, the Middle Ages and the […]

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April 5: The Radical Marries the Millionaire

Labor activist and Yiddish journalist Rose Pastor (Wieslander), who became a founding member of the Communist Party in the U.S. in 1919, and James Graham Stokes, an Episcopalian millionaire involved in the settlement house movement, announced their wedding engagement on this date in 1905, which stoked (no pun intended) a media frenzy in which she […]

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Reclaiming Kurt Lewin

A Father of Modern Social Psychology by Robert Kleiner and Gerry Kane From the Summer 2015 issue of Jewish Currents IF YOU GOOGLE “Kurt Zadek Lewin” (1890-1947), you will quickly learn that he is often referred to as the father of modern social psychology — and if you are in the habit of Googling people […]

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January 30: The First American Pop Psychologist

Joseph Jastrow, the first American to receive a doctorate in psychology, in 1883, and the first to bring psychology into popular parlance through articles, books, and lectures, was born in Warsaw on this date in 1863. A member of the psychology department at the University of Wisconsin, he built the first psychology laboratory that investigated […]

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December 29: A Socialist in Congress

Meyer London, one of only two Socialist Party members elected to Congress (the other was Victor Berger), was born in Lithuania on this date in 1871. He came to New York at age 20 and worked as a tutor and printer while acquiring a law degree. London was a fundraising activist for the Jewish Bund […]

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