Going back 75 years this week, I found the opinion page of the May 29, 1942, issue of the JN to be particularly interesting. First, there was a really thoughtful lead editorial: “Youth in Front Ranks.” The inspiration for the editorial was the fact that, during a record-setting Allied Jewish Campaign, the Junior Division was the first “to go over the top.” Young Jews had led the way and were the first to meet their quota.

More important, however, was the salient point made about youth that year: They were the group most directly affected by the war as many young Jewish men and women were in the military services. This meant that here there were fewer young Jews in the local workforce, with fewer dollars to contribute to the cause. Nevertheless, young Jews in Detroit rose to the occasion and this was indeed a “cheering factor.”

There was also a piece on the “Revolt of the Oppressed,” which focused on resistance to Nazis in the European nations they overran. It included a poignant quote from Danish King Christian that, if the anti-Jewish Nuremberg laws are forced on Denmark, “then we must all wear the yellow star.”

And, just to remind everyone about the war, on another page of the JN, there was an advertisement from Cunningham’s Drug Stores, which urged the reader to keep our servicemen “smiling with a carton of cigarettes.” The ad claimed that “our boys were calling for” smokes and Cunningham’s would mail them anywhere for no extra charge! I don’t think we’d see such an advertisement in 2017.

Mike Smith
Detroit Jewish News Foundation


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