The June 5, 1942, issue of the JN was very interesting, with several stories that were out of the ordinary thus far. It was an extraordinary year for America in the midst of World War II, but, to this date, beyond the steady reporting on news from Detroit’s Jewish community, the larger focus in the JN, as well as for most American newspapers, was on events in Europe and the trauma created by the Nazis. This issue was a bit different.

It began with this headline: “20,000 Jews Trapped in Japan Doomed Without Prompt Help.” While Asia might not be the first place one names when thinking of Jewish communities, this story does point to the fact there were — and are — Jews living around the world. In this case, there were 20,000 refugees trapped in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, China, more than 7,000 had been working in the city until the Japanese entered the war against the United States.

Another non-European story centered on Palestine and Detroit. David Ben-Gurion, at that time chairman of the World Zionist Executive, was coming here to give the opening speech to the Pioneer Women’s Organization of America on June 10, 1942, at the Book-Cadillac Hotel. This would not be the last time Ben-Gurion would come to our city. The Detroit Jewish community provided crucial support leading to the establishment of Israel and Ben-Gurion as its first prime minister.

I also wish to note there was a new addition to the Schmidt’s Beer advertisement for this issue. In addition to tanks and bombers, it’s now beer and battleships! I do love these ads

Mike Smith
Detroit Jewish News Foundation



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