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March 3: Jews in Florida

Florida was admitted to the United States as its 27th state on this date in 1845. Fewer than a hundred Jews lived in Florida at the time (out of a white population of some 66,000) — including David Levy Yulee, one of the new state’s first two senators and the first Jew in the U.S. […]

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July 2: Francis Simon and Uranium-235

A German Jewish scientist who fled Hitler’s regime to Great Britain, where he devised the method of separating the Uranium-235 isotope, critical to the United States’ creation of the atomic bomb, Francis Simon was born in Berlin on this date in 1893. He was a World War I veteran and winner of the Iron Cross, […]

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April 29: Dachau Liberated

The Seventh U.S. Army entered the Dachau concentration camp on this date in 1945. Ten miles outside of Munich, Dachau was the first concentration camp organized by the Nazi S.S., in 1933, and would be variously used over the course of twelve years, but primarily to confine and punish political prisoners and non-Aryans as defined […]

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April 21: The Strangest Man in Baseball

Moe (Morris) Berg (1902-1972), the only Major League Baseball player whose baseball card is on display at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, played in his 117th consecutive game without committing an error, a record for an American League catcher, on this date in 1934. Described by Casey Stengel as “the strangest man ever to play […]

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April 8: A Jew-Free Crimea

The Crimean Peninsula was declared judenfrei (cleansed of Jews) on this date in 1942 (some sources say April 16th), only five months after the Nazis took over the Russian territory and began murdering Jews, who numbered close to 60,000. The killing was mostly done by Einsatzgruppe D, headed by Dr. Otto Ohlendorf, with the collaboration […]

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March 8: The Battle of Sokolovo

The Red Army was joined for the first time by troops from an allied country in fighting the Nazi Wehrmacht at the battle of Sokolovo, which began in the Ukraine on this date in 1943. One thousand soldiers of the First Czechoslovak Independent Field Battalion, fought to stop the advance of Germans across the Mzha […]

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February 26: Mourning the Sinking of the Struma

Jews of Palestine stayed indoors for twelve hours between noon and midnight on this date in 1942 to mourn and protest the killing two days earlier of nearly 800 Jews, including some 100 children, aboard the Struma, a ship carrying refugees from fascist Romania to Palestine. The Struma had been built in 1867 as a […]

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February 3: The Chaplain Heroes

Rabbi Alexander D. Goode was one of four chaplains who gave up their lives on this date in 1943 to save other soldiers when the American ship the Dorchester was sunk by a German U-boat during World War II. Ordained in 1937 by the Reform seminary in Cincinnati, and earning a Ph.D from Johns Hopkins […]

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January 19: The Red Spy and the Red Orchestra

Leopold Trepper, who organized an anti-Nazi spy network that the Nazis called the “Red Orchestra” in occupied Europe (headquartered in Belgium), died at 77 in Jerusalem on this date in 1982. After being imprisoned for leading a strike in Krakow in 1923, Trepper moved to Palestine and worked as a communist activist against the British, […]

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December 17: The World Acknowledges the Slaughter

British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden told the House of Commons on this date in 1942 that Nazi Germany was carrying out “Hitler’s oft repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe.” He described how hundreds of thousands of men, women and children were being transported from all German-occupied territory “in conditions of appalling horror […]

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