The headlines from the Aug. 17, 1942, issue are a reminder that World War II was still undecided. One read: “Nazi Caucasus Drive Threatens Palestine.” In 1942, North Africa was a major battlefield and the area changed hands several times between British and German armies. The threat of Nazis moving down through the Caucasus and through what are now Syria, Lebanon and Israel into Egypt was a dire one.
Two very interesting stories about Jews were found in the inner pages of this issue. One was part of the series the JN had published over the summer about the history of Jews in America. This last entry was about the history of the Jewish community in Detroit.
Also related to Michigan was a story about Bennie Friedman. A native of Cleveland, Friedman was one of the best-known football players of the era. He was an All-American at the University of Michigan who played just about every position, but was most famous for his passing game skills. Friedman then spent eight seasons in the National Football League, where he changed the nature of the game through his throwing of the football.
At the outbreak of World War II, he was the football coach at the College of the City of New York. Although the article had nothing to do with football, it was big news: Benny Friedman had joined the Navy. He went on to serve as a deck officer on the aircraft carrier Shangri-La in the Pacific Theatre of the war. Another example of “Jewish Boys in the War.”
Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives,available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.