Several weeks ago, in his “Publisher’s Notebook,” Arthur Horwitz kicked off the 75th anniversary year of the Jewish News with these words: “The world was an exceedingly dangerous place — especially for Jews — when Philip Slomovitz published the first issue of the Jewish News on March 27, 1942.” Dangerous, indeed.

Consider that 75 years ago this week, the JN had a very disturbing headline: “Nazis Slaughter 13,000 Jews in LWOW; Report 1,500 More Died in Random of Starvation.” I found this to be even more interesting after reading a review in the Times of Israel of Human Rights After Hitler, a new book by Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London. Plesch investigated recently released documents from the United Nations demonstrating that the Allies had evidence regarding the Nazi’s efforts to exterminate Jews as early as December 1942 instead of 1944, as they often claimed.

Well, it seems that Slomovitz and the JN knew from the beginning of publication that there was an atrocity in the making in Europe. To be frank, as I read the issues from 1942, I am greatly impressed with the worldwide coverage of the JN.

The front page of the May 1, 1942, JN was serious, but there was also a bit of good news inside. To celebrate National Baby Week, at both of Sam’s Cut Rate stores in Downtown Detroit, you could buy a wooden baby chair for just $4.98! This was a deep discount from its normal price of $7.50.

Mike Smith
Detroit Jewish News Foundation


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