The good stuff, the items that catch my eye from 75 years ago, are not always reflected in JN’s headlines. Such is the case for the Feb. 26, 1943, issue, where I found three great essays on page 4, in the section “The Editor Views the News.”
The first piece was about a Sunday protest in Detroit against Nazi atrocities. The main speaker was Dr. Stephen S. Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress. This tells you that, for the local Jewish community, this was a big deal. However, what was also heartening was the list of supporters: the Detroit Council of Churches, the Polish Central Citizens’ Committee, the Detroit Round Table of Catholics, Jews and Protestants, the Greek War Relief Committee, the Czech-Slovak National Alliance and the Detroit Anti-Axis Council. As the editor suggested, this was “not a one-sided affair.”
The next item suggested that a fellow I have written about before was a “Modern Maccabee.” Indeed, Meyer Levin had fought in the Pacific since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and had earned three medals for valor. But, there was some very sad news in the essay — Levin had been killed. He was a hero, no doubt, and as the article pointed out, there were many other modern Maccabees now fighting in Europe, Russia, North Africa and the South Pacific. Still, after reading about Levin in the JN since I started these columns that look back 75 years, it was a sad thing to see in print.
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The third essay was entitled “Jews in the Armed Forces,” but it was the first paragraph that was most interesting. It referred to seven sons of Mr. and Mrs. Max Lieberman from Manistique, Mich. (an eighth son was under military age). All of the sons were serving in the U.S. Army. That is commitment.
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available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.