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December 1: Protesting the Armenian Genocide, 1895

The New York Times reported on this date in 1895 that Rabbi Joseph Silverman, the leader of New York’s massive Temple Emanu-El, had the day before “delivered an eloquent sermon” urging Jewish solidarity with Armenians who were being killed by Turkey during the Hamidian Massacres, 1894-1896, which orphaned some 50,000 Armenian children in a prelude […]

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America’s First Illegal Immigrants

by Robert A. Slayton RABBI MARTIN ZIELONKA of Temple Mount Sinai in El Paso, Texas, had to deal with a growing problem, one he expected would worsen: Four Jewish immigrants appeared on his doorstep, coming from Eastern Europe to Mexico (by way of Spain or the Netherlands) and then entering the United States in total […]

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October 5: A Spy Among the Turks

Palestine-born Sarah Aaronsohn, who became a spy serving the British against the Ottoman Empire after she witnessed a massacre of Armenians by the Turks while she was en route to Haifa, shot herself on this date in 1917 to avoid further torture after having been captured. She died four days later. Aaronsohn and her siblings […]

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September 21: Jailed for His Silent Movie

Robert Goldstein, a costume supplier for the nascent Hollywood film industry who was jailed for making a silent movie, The Spirit of ’76, that portrayed Great Britain in a critical light just as the U.S. was entering World War I as Britain’s ally, was born on this date in 1883. Goldstein had been an investor […]

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August 4: Hitler’s Medal

Corporal Adolf Hitler received an Iron Cross First Class on this date in 1918 upon the recommendation of Hugo Gutmann, a decorated Jewish lieutenant who was Hitler’s superior officer in the German army for seven months that year. Hitler wore the medal throughout the remainder of his life. Gutmann, demobilized the following year, owned an […]

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July 3: Citroën’s Factory

Engineer André Citroën, who introduced mass manufacturing to French industry through the car that bears his name, died at 57 in Paris on this date in 1935. Citroën developed the double helical (or herringbone) gear, which drove the RMS Titanic. In 1913, he took over the Mors automobile company and turned it into a dynamo […]

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The Uncivil Servant: Counting German Jews

by Mitchell Abidor Discussed in this essay: Loyal Sons: Jews in the German Army in the Great War, by Peter Appelbaum. Valentine Mitchell, 2014, 347 pages. IT’S LONG BEEN A HISTORICAL TRUISM — and truth — that Hitler’s rise to power and the consequent Holocaust were to a large extent the fruits of the German defeat in […]

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