April 3, 1942

It was tougher than I thought to pick just one story from 75 years to feature this week. The front page of the April 3, 1942, issue had an eye-grabbing headline:U.S. Department of Justice Commences War on Pro-Nazi and Anti-Semitic Elements.” Indeed, with the recent rise of global anti-Semitism, it reminded me that some problems of the past are still with us today.

There was also a story about a Jewish Detroit community builder, Israel Himelhoch, who with his brother, Moses, founded the famous women’s clothing store in Detroit in 1907.

But, I really liked the pictorial on page 20 that featured six brief stories about Jewish refugees and their lives after leaving Europe. A reader of the JN in 1942 would never lose sight of the big story — World War II. This story focused on how the war affected Jews around the world.

There is an image of a Jewish family making a new home in Bolivia and of Jews stranded in Lisbon, Portugal. There was the boy in unoccupied France who could eat because of the efforts of the United Jewish Appeal and a photo of new Americans learning the language of the land. Finally, there were also two stories about Palestine: an image of a few of the 12,000 Jews fighting with the British Army in that region and of Jewish women carrying on in the fields of Palestine.

Sometimes, nothing tells a story like a photograph. And, 75 years ago, the JN had plenty of them.

Mike Smith
Detroit Jewish News Foundation


Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at  www.djnfoundation.org

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