For­ward Look­ing Back

From The Ar­chives

Forward Magazine - - Culture -

1915 100 Years Ago

Leo Frank, who had been found guilty of mur­der­ing Mary Pha­gan, a 13-year-old em­ployee in the pen­cil fac­tory he man­aged in Ma­ri­etta, Ge­or­gia, was kid­napped from the state prison in Millersville, Ge­or­gia, by 25 masked men who lynched him and left his body hang­ing on a tree about a mile out­side the town. All the tele­phone and tele­graph wires in the area had been cut, so the author­i­ties could not be alerted that any­thing un­usual had oc­curred. Frank’s mother made the fol­low­ing state­ment: “Thank God my son is dead. Death freed him from all of his trou­bles. His life would have been hor­ri­ble, had he lived. Those who had thirsted for his blood might have killed him in a much more ter­ri­ble way.” Although deputies were sent by area po­lice to at­tempt to find those re­spon­si­ble, it is not likely that they will suc­ceed.

1940 75 Years Ago

Leon Trot­sky, for­mer leader of the Bol­she­vik Revo­lu­tion, has died from wounds he re­ceived af­ter be­ing at­tacked by a man in Mexico City wield­ing an ice pick. On his deathbed, Trot­sky told his sec­re­tary that the at­tacker was an agent of the GPO, the Soviet se­cret po­lice. The at­tacker was iden­ti­fied as Jac­ques Mornard Drescher, a 36-year-old, Per­sian born Bel­gian citizen. Trot­sky’s body­guard heard screams from the stu­dio where his boss was work­ing, and upon en­ter­ing he saw Drescher stand­ing next to the limp body of the ar­chi­tect of the Red Army, who had an ice pick still stuck in his head. Sur­geons tried to save Trot­sky but were not suc­cess­ful. Trot­sky’s last words, spo­ken to his sec­re­tary, were: “Tell our com­rades that I am sure of the suc­cess of the Fourth In­ter­na­tional. For­ward!”

1965 50 Years Ago

The mur­der trial of a num­ber of Auschwitz guards came to a close this week as the de­fen­dants were found guilty and were sen­tenced. The two most sadis­tic guards, Wilhelm Boger and Oswald Kaduk, re­ceived life sen­tences. Both mur­der­ers laughed out loud when the sen­tences were pro­nounced. Upon hear­ing the sen­tences of for­mer Auschwitz com­man­dants Robert Mulka, who re­ceived 14 years in prison, and Karl Hecker, who re­ceived nine, spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor Friedrich Kaul pounded on the ta­ble with his fist and said he would ap­peal for more se­vere sen­tences. Other pros­e­cu­tors in­volved in the case have not yet de­cided if they will ap­peal what they also be­lieve to be short sen­tences. They are all ex­pected to have their hands full, as the court is ex­pected to hear the cases of more than 300 for­mer com­man­ders and guards at the Ger­man-run death camp.

FOR­WARD AS­SO­CI­A­TION

1917 Yid­dish Diva: Famed Lat­vian-born Yid­dish ac­tress, Betty Kom­paneyets-Rabi­nowitz, mar­ried ac­tor Leon Rabi­nowitz and set­tled in Paris un­til em­i­grat­ing to Mexico in 1938 where the two con­tin­ued their Yid­dish the­atri­cal work. Betty gave birth to two daugh­ters, Fanny and Regina, who both en­tered the arts. Fanny, a great pain­ter, sculp­tor and mu­ral­ist even­tu­ally worked with Diego Rivera and David Al­faro Siqueiros.

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