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The Life They Left Behind

March 2023
1min read

The majority of American Jews today are descended from the more than a million immigrants who fled from Eastern Europe between 1880 and World War I. Their ancestors, in turn, had been driven from Western Europe during the Middle Ages: large numbers of them had settled in Poland, where they were made welcome because of their skill in crafts and commerce. More than a thousand years earlier, their forefather had been dispersed from Palestine to various parts of the Roman Empire after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. The toleration enjoyed by the Jews of Poland was rare, for after the Chrislianizing of Europe only the Jews remained as a distinctly unconverted part of the population. They were steadfastly loyal to Judaism, and this, plus the belief that they had been responsible for the Crucifixion, made them the butt of much Christian spite. Marc Chagall’s painting, above, dramatizes the legend of the Wandering Jew, whose penalty for having been rude to Jesus was to travel without rest until Judgment Day. In effect the legend became true: for centuries the Jews were herded about Europe, heavily discriminated against, and forced into segregated ghettos when they were allowed to live at all. Even in Poland their years of peace were numbered—for the eastern part of the country, where most of them lived, was destined to fall into the hands of the Russian czars. On the following pages will be found a portfolio of paintings illustrating the life in Eastern Europe which Jewish emigrants left behind.

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Stories published from "October 1966"

Authored by: The Editors

Identifications for the drawing on pages 6-7

Authored by: The Editors

A few kind words from down under

Authored by: David Boroff

Jewish immigrants to America crowded into a tight ethnic huddle on New York’s Lower Rast Side. Yet for most of them it was still a land of promise

Authored by: David G. Lowe

The bleak future of Hudson County’s lovely old seat of government illustrates the threat to our heritage of beauty from a generation that neither builds nor remembers well

Authored by: William E. Wilson

So Abraham Lincoln summed up his boyhood in Indiana. Posterity has made of it a romantic legend, spent in a dark, smoky, crowded, deep in the wilderness

Authored by: Stephen Hess

The only American ever to be both President and Chief Justice of this country was jolly, energetic, and weighed over three hundred pounds.

Authored by: Henry F. Graff

At least one President was a multi-millionaire. Another had gone hroke. Several had made fortunes in land speculations or memoir-writing, while one had lost everything in trade. Two were so well-off they refused the salary; another considered resigning because he couldn’t live on it. One thing all have discovered: The American people, who have elected some rich men and some poor men (though no beggars or thieves), are never indifferent to

Authored by: Robert S. Gallagher

Alabama’s Lurleen Wallace is not the first wife to stand in for her husband on the political stage. “Farmer Jim” Ferguson ran his Miriam for governor of Texas five times, and twice the voters elected her

Authored by: Ann Leighton

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Unless the makeshift Yankee admiral with his tiny homemade fleet could hold Lake Champlain, the formidable invasion from Canada might overwhelm the rebel army

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