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1890 - 1976 FRITZ LANG (Germany-France-USA)

Film director - Lang began his career as a painter. His early expressionist films - Dr. Mabuse the Gambler, Die Nibelungen, and Metropolis - made him an important player in German film. Though offered directorship of the Third Reich's film industry by Goebbels he fled to France and then to the USA, fearing that the Nazis would discover that his mother was Jewish. His American films included Fury, Scarlet Street and While the City Sleeps. They were considered prime examples of film noir.


Published Caesar's Column, a utopian anti-Semitic novel showing the Jews (Israelites) as the international bankers and rulers of Europe.

1890 - 1931 RAHEL BLUWSTEIN (Rachel) (Russia- Eretz Israel)

Born and educated in Russia, Rahel (Bluwstein)'s early poems were written in her native language. She came to Eretz Israel in 1909 and was greatly influenced by the early halutz (pioneer), A.D. Gordon. In 1913, she went to France and then returned to Russia where she was a teacher, eventually returning to Eretz Yisrael in 1919 to become a member of Degania, the first kibbutz, where Gordon lived. She contracted consumption there, and references to her impending death are found in her later poems. Many of her poems were later put to music.

1890 - 1917 SARAH AARONSOHN (Eretz Israel)

Jewish patriot and heroine. In 1915 she witnessed the Turkish massacre of Armenians, an experience which may have triggered her joining her brother Aaron in NILI's (see 1915) spy operations against the Turks. In 1917 on a visit to Egypt she was warned by the British not to return to Eretz Israel, but she refused to comply. Upon her arrival, she warned the members of NILI to disband but remained at home in Zichron Yaakov so as to allay any suspicion. She was arrested by the Turkish military authorities on October l of the same year. After three days of torture, and fearing that she may reveal information, she managed to shoot and kill herself.

1890 - 1948 SOLOMON MIKHOELS (Russia)

Leading Russian and Yiddish actor famed for his roles as Tevye and King Lear.

1890 - 1952 YITZCHAK SADEH (Russia-Eretz Israel)

A military leader, Sadeh was decorated in the Czarist army in World War I. In the wake of the Arab rebellion of 1936, Sadeh - who had helped set up the labor brigade in the 1920's - proposed moving from a policy of defending settlements to seeking out Arab units in the open. He became the first commander of the Plugot Sadeh (Field Units) of the Haganah which became known as the Palmach. Yigal Alon described him as a great lover "of country, women, and the implacable logic of history".

1890 February 22, MENAHEM USSISHKIN (Russia-Eretz Israel)

One of the founders of the Odessa Committee. The Committee was dedicated to the practical exponent of the Hovevei Zion in establishing agricultural settlements in Eretz Israel. Ussishkin later served as president of the Jewish National Fund. He was one of the few Zionist leaders who actually settled in Eretz Israel.

1890 April 1, ZIONISM

Nathan Birnbaum (1864-1937) in his journal Selbstemanzipation (Self Emancipation) coined the term "Zionism". Birnbaum's idea was to change the philanthropic approach of the time towards the return of Jews to Eretz Israel to a more activist or political one. Although the idea of a return to Zion had been a foundation of Jewish thought and belief since biblical times, it only became a practical political movement at this time. This was later adopted as the Basel Program by the First Zionist Congress under Herzl (see 1897).

1890 October 2, - 1977 GROUCHO (JULIUS) MARX (USA)

Comedian and entertainer. Groucho began his career with his brothers as a singing vaudeville act organized by their mother Minnie who actually sang with them. Of all the brothers it was Groucho who attained almost icon status during his lifetime. After a string of successful movies he hosted a hit show You Bet Your Life for over ten years and published several books.


Was organized by the Reverend William E. Blackstone an American evangelist. This was the first Ecumenical conference between Christians and Jews in America. It called for the restoration of Israel to the Jewish people (the Reform movement did not participate). A joint, Christian-Jewish declaration against Russian oppression of the Jews was also declared.


"The Radio Priest" began his broadcasts in 1926 and by the 1930's was one of the most influential men in America with almost one third of the population listening to his anti-Semitic broadcasts. Coughlin also edited the paper Social Justice. A supporter of Roosevelt, he turned against him feeling that his reforms weren't radical enough. Though there was public protest against his broadcasts, his superiors took a surprisingly long time (1940's) before terminating his activities.

1891 - 1967 ILYA EHRENBURG (Russia)

Journalist and novelist, He served as a spokesman for the Soviet Union during the 1930's. Ehrenburg joined the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (see 1942) and was active in combating anti - Semitism. He toed the official Soviet line regarding Capitalism and Zionism. Among his most well knows works are The Fall of Paris, the Storm, and the Thaw.

1891 SELAH MERRILL (Jerusalem)

The American consul to Jerusalem wrote "Jews and Jewish Colonies in Palestine”. This in response to a request by the state department regarding the Blackstone memorial. In it he suggested that " The Jews need to learn their place". What the Jews wanted, he believed, wasn’t land to colonize, but cities “where they can live on the fortunes or the misfortunes of other people.” He blamed Russian anti-Semitism on the behavior of the Jews. Merrill served as the consul to Jerusalem on and off between 1882 and 1907.

1891 - 1982 ZVI JUDAH KOOK (Eretz Israel)

Rabbi and religious Zionist leader. Rav Zvi Judah was the son of Abraham Isaac Kook. He succeeded his father as the head of Yeshivat Mercaz Harav. His lectures dealing with the "Love of the Land of Israel" drew large crowds. Rav Kook was instrumental in encouraging his students to settle in all parts of the land of Israel. His halachic decisions within the field of modern events were published as L'Netivot Yisrael.


Sent a petition signed by 413 Jewish and Christian leaders to President Benjamin Harrison and Secretary of State James G. Blaine, calling for a conference with the aim of returning Jews to their native homeland. Although ignored, Blackburn (1841–1935) sent a second petition to President Wilson 1916. There is a debate as to whether it had any effect on Wilson's decision to recognize the Balfour declaration.


Was presented with a petition by prominent non-Jews requesting an international conference to consider and bring to a just conclusion the Jewish claims to Eretz Israel.


Was presented to President Harrison calling for American support of Jewish restoration to Israel. It had been organized by William Blackstone and signed by 413 prominent mostly Christian leaders. They included John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Cyrus McCormick, senators, congressional representatives, religious leaders of all denominations, and newspaper editors.

1891 March 28 - 29, (Passover) JEWS EXPELLED FROM MOSCOW (Russia)

Grand Duke Sergei, the Czar's brother who had just become governor of Moscow, ordered the expulsion of all Jews from the city. Permission to remain was only given to those who would convert or to women who were willing to become prostitutes. In addition, a few thousand former cantonists who were registered and wealthy merchants were allowed to continue residing in Moscow. In January 1892, in middle of a deep cold spell, the Jewish quarter was surrounded and Jews who had until then avoided expulsion were hunted by the police and firemen. In all, approximately 14,000 Jewish families were expelled to the Pale.

1891 April 1, Ritual murder accusation (Corfu)

Rubina Sarda the local Jewish tailor's 8 year old daughter, was found dead. Her father Vita was immediately accused of the crime by the local constable. Others, including police, spread a rumor that the girl was not Jewish but really a Christian by the name of Maria Desylla, and was killed for ritual purposes. The local Greek orthodox leader or metropolite refused to intervene and “disappeared” until the incident was over. Despite a declaration by her teacher, confirmed by the French consul at Corfu, that she was Jewish the local Jewish community was attacked with violence spreading to other parts of Greece. Approximately 5 of the 7,000 Jews of Corfu fled by boat with their property confiscated by locals. Some were thrown overboard. None of the perpetrators were punished.

1891 May 11, - 1967 HENRY MORGENTHAU JR. (USA)

Agricultural expert and financier. An early friend of President Roosevelt, he joined him in Washington and was named to head the Federal Farm Board. In 1934, he was appointed secretary of the Treasury where he was a strong supporter of tax reforms and responsible for the funding of Roosevelt's New Deal. Morgenthau was an early adherent of America joining in the war against Germany and was instrumental in the setting up of the War Refugee Board. He helped many Jewish organizations and served as the honorary chairman of the United Jewish Appeal.

1891 June 29, XANTEN (Germany)

Ritual murder libel. The rise of anti-Semitism culminating in this libel resulted in an exodus from Germany to the United States and other countries.

1891 August 22, - 1973 JACQUES LIPCHITZ, (Lithuania-USA )

Cubist sculptor. Lipchitz did much of his work in stone and bronze. Often with Jewish or biblical themes, he created a sculpture called The Miracles for the creation of the State of Israel. His last work, which was commissioned by Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus, was a six-meter-high bronze The Tree of Life, representing the patriarchs and their descendants.

1891 August 28, WOODBINE (New Jersey, USA)

Was established as an agricultural community with funding from Baron de Hirsch and his Baron de Hirsch Fund. The fund was dedicated to promoting rural Jewish communities in the United States and joined with the ICA (Jewish Colonial Association) in 1900. An agriculture school was established there in 1894. It became quickly apparent that it would be almost impossible to make a living only through agriculture, and light industry was also brought in. Other communities were established in New Jersey, including Vineland, Toms River, and Farmingdale, as well as many others throughout the USA. All were part of the efforts to absorb new Jewish immigrants in rural areas, as well as teach them the language and a trade.

1891 September 11, JEWISH COLONIAL ASSOCIATION (France-England)

Was officially established by Baron de Hirsch. Other shareholders included, among others, Rothschild, Cassel, and Goldsmid. De Hirsh himself donated two million pounds and incorporated the Association in London. His plan was to promote migration of Russian and European Jews and settle them in agricultural areas in countries around the world.

1892 DAVID SCHWARTZ (Hungary)

Invented the dirigible airship. Since he died before he made his flight, his widow sold the patents to Count Zeppelin, who received the credit.

1892 WORKMEN'S CIRCLE (Arbeiter Bing) (USA)

Was formed in the United States as a Jewish labor organization. It ran its own schools, social activities, and cemetery (burial) organization.


Published The City and the Land’ which comprised of various studies including the "Future of Palestine " by Claude Conder. Condor wrote, "The numbers of Jews in Jerusalem in 1793 did not surpass a few hundreds, but now (1892) it has reached 40,000… Jews are no longer an oppressed and cowardly minority…”

1892 - 1982 DAVID DUBINSKY (Belarus - USA)

Pioneering labor leader. Dubinsky, like Sidney Hillman, was arrested for organizing a Bakers' Union in Lodz but managed to escape to teh USA in 1910. Arriving in New York, he rose from being an apprentice in Cutters' Local 10 to becoming president of the International Ladies Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) from 1932-1966. Dubinsky was active in the Jewish Labor Committee and a supporter the Histadrut, Israel's General Federation of Labor.

1892 ELHANAN LEWINSKY (1857-1910) (Russia)

A Hebrew writer who published a utopian view of the Zionist dream, A Journey to the Land of Israel in the Year 2040. Lewinsky combined his job as the representative of Carmel wines with that of a Zionist leader traveling throughout Russia. He was a prolific journalist who made use of humor and Jewish legends in his writing.

1892 KAISER WILHELM II (1859-1941) (Germany)

Fired Adolph Stoecker for excessive socialism, but not for his anti-Semitism. Stoecker's Christian Socialist Party fell along with him, although anti-Semitism continued to be considered respectable.

1892 January, CZARIST GOVERNMENT (Russia)

Closed the Volozhin Yeshiva after Rabbi Berlin (see 1817) refused to agree to the new Russian decrees. These included, reducing the number of students, prohibiting night time study, and limiting study to ten hours per day of which six would be dedication to secular studies. . The Rabbi and his family were exiled. Although the Yeshiva eventual reopened, it never attained its former glory. The last 50 students and the Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Hayyim Wolkin, were murdered by the Nazis at Ponar.


The official Vatican Newspaper publishes an article supporting ritual blood accusation. The article claimed that there were many unimpeachable witnesses to the “fact” that Jews use Christian blood for preparing Matzo.

1892 October 20, EDUARD SCHNITZER (Emin Pasha) (1840-1892) (Austria-Africa)

Was assassinated. He had taken on the Turkish name Emin Pasha and traveled throughout Africa as an explorer, linguist, adventurer, administrator, and especially as a doctor. He spent much of his time in Khartoum (in the Sudan) while serving as a governor under General Gordon. Pasha was a tireless fighter against the slave trade which was still rampant. He had returned to Central Africa on a semi-political voyage for Germany when he was murdered by slave traders.

1893 BUKHARA (Russia)

After the "May laws" were issued, many Jews decided to leave for Israel. The Bukharim set up their own community in Jerusalem.


Was created by German Jews to protect immigrant girls from white slave traders. Founded by Hannah Solomon, it also established educational, social, and cultural services for women. It was the first national women's Jewish organization in the United States.


Reform rabbi, Jewish leader, orator and prominent Zionist. Silver's pro-Zionist ideas were considered highly unusual at the Hebrew Union College at that time. He served as a congregational rabbi in Cleveland from the age of 24 until his death. Silver was a founder of the United Jewish Appeal (today the United Jewish Communities) and helped organize a German boycott after the take over by the Nazi party. He also was one of the few who openly criticized Roosevelt's anti- Zionist policy even during the war. After the creation of the State of Israel, he was shunted aside by Ben Gurion who resented Silver's position in fundraising and allocations.

1893 - 1950 HAROLD JOSEPH LASKI (England)

Political scientist and socialist leader in England. A prolific writer and lecturer, his works include: Grammar of Politics, Democracy in Crisis and The American Democracy. He favored assimilation until World War II, when he became an outspoken Zionist.

1893 JUSTINAS PRANAITIS (St. Petersburg, Russia)

"Proved" that Jews used the blood of Christian children in the baking of matzos. In 1911 he was the "expert" witness in the Beilis trial.

1893 - 1965 MARGARETE SOMMER (Germany)

Catholic social worker. During the Holocaust, she helped protect Jews from deportation to death camps and hide them whenever possible. She was also a leader in the Catholic resistance circle of Berlin. In August 1942 she composed a report which was sent to Rome, regarding the deportation of Jews and the conditions in concentration camps. Sommer together with Konrad Preysing, the German prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, made a major effort to get the Catholic Church to speak out and even drafted a statement for the Fulda Conference in 1943. The declaration would have condemned German atrocities, but they were stymied by Cardinal Adolf Bertram who chaired the conference. Yad Vashem recognized Margarete Sommer as Righteous Among the Nations.

1893 - 1940 MORDECHAI FRIZIS (Greece)

Greek war hero. Mounted on his horse he led his troops against an Italian attack. Though seriously wounded he continued to encourage his troops from on top his horse until he died . With the rank of colonel, he was the first high ranking Greek officer to be killed in World War II.


A chemist, discovered hydrogen peroxide.Wolfinstein (1864-1926) is also noted for his discover of a organic reaction known today as the Wolffenstein–Böters reaction.


Was created to defend Jews against anti-Semitic libels in Germany. After 1933 it provided legal advice to German Jews. It was closed down by the Gestapo in 1938.

1893 December 12, - 1973 EDWARD G. ROBINSON (Emanuel Goldenberg) (USA)

Originally typecast as a gangster, he starred in over 150 films. Robinson was a linguist and broadcasted to Germany in German during WWII. He was an accomplished painter, and one of the foremost art collectors in the United States.

1894 BERNARD LAZARE (France)

Published "Anti-Semitism its History and Causes." The first systematic explanation of anti-Semitism. This took place after start of the Dreyfus trial. Lazare (1865-1903) a journalist and literary critic, played an active role in proving the innocence of Dreyfus and the emancipation of European Jewry.

1894 - 1943 HAYYIM SOUTINE (Russia-France)

Artist known for his passionate and often disturbing use of color and form. Soutine was befriended by Modigliani who introduced him to art dealers. At the outbreak of the war, he refused to leave France and died of ulcers brought on by his constantly having to move and remain in hiding.

1894 - 1940 ISAAC BABEL (Ukraine)

Writer, journalist, and playwright. Babel was fluent in French, Russian, Ukrainian and Yiddish. Maxim Gorky published some of his first stories. His writings included Red Cavalry, Collected Stories, Odessa tales Shabos-Nakhamu and The Lonely Years. His plays included Zaket (Sunset) and Maria - the latter was banned. He often wrote about Jewish life, war, and corruption. In 1939 Babel was arrested and beaten until he confessed, incriminating his friends Solomon Mikholes and Ilya Ehrenburg. Though he immediately recanted, he was tried and executed for treason. Babel was rehabilitated in 1954 but his many confiscated and unfinished manuscripts were never returned.

1894 - 1917 NICHOLAS II (Russia)

Last of the Russian Czars. Nicholas was extremely anti-semitic. He continued Alexander III's policies against the Jews and carried them one step further by commissioning Sergei Nilus, a monk, to write something which would arouse hatred of the Jews. The result of this was the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion (see 1905). A weak ruler, he was influenced by everyone around him: Mescherski (editor of a Slavophilist newspaper), Pobednostav and especially his wife, Princess Alix (Alexandra Fedorovna.)

1894 - 1981 URI TZVI GREENBERG (Galicia - Eretz Israel)

Nationalist poet and journalist. In 1923 he called on Jews to leave Europe, predicting its destruction. After the 1929 riots in Eretz Isreal, he became one of the founders of the Brit HaBiriyonim (The Strongmen's union) which was the activist division of the Revisionist Movement ( see 1925). He also served in the Knesset as a member of the Herut Party.

1894 February 14, - 1974 JACK BENNY (Benjamin Kubelsky) (USA)

Like many comedians of his era, he began in vaudeville and became known for using his violin as a prop. In 1932, he began his radio show, The Jack Benny Program and in 1950, made the successful transition into television winning two Emmy awards. Benny was famous for his alter-ego personality: never aging beyond 39, a tightwad persona, and inept violin playing (he was actually generous in real life and an exceptional violinist). Trademarks of his comic routine was when he paused, resting his chin on his hand, and uttered the word "Well!" or telling his audience in an aside, "Now cut that out!"

1894 February 28, - 1964 BEN HECHT (USA)

Novelist, playwright, and screen writer. He authored 35 books and many screenplays. Although some of his earlier works that dealt with Jewish themes were not overly sympathetic (A Jew in Love), he changed with the rise of Nazism (A Guide for the Bedevilled) and became involved in Jewish activism. During the 1940's, he staged two pageants, Remember Us and A Flag Is Born, and became active in the Irgun Zvai Leumi. Due to his political activities in Eretz Israel his credits were removed from all films shown in England for a number of years. An illegal immigrant ship was named Ben Hecht in his honor. Hecht wrote his controversial Perfidy about the Kastner trial and attacked Ben Gurion and the Zionist establishment for their conduct during the war. His best selling biography is called A Child of the Century. Hecht worked on 150 films including Monkey Business, Wuthering Heights, and Gone with the Wind as well as the successful play The Front Page.

1894 June 3, - 1951 ARTHUR SZYK (Poland-USA)

A war cartoonist, he was also famous for his traditional and modern Jewish and secular characters using a technique of miniaturization. He became associated with Jabotinsky's Revisionists and the Irgun underground organization.

1894 October 13, DREYFUS AFFAIR (France)

Began in France with the arrest of Alfred Dreyfus, an Alsatian captain. He was accused of passing military secrets to the Germans. Dreyfus was not religious or even acknowledged as a Jew, yet he became the pawn of anti-Semitic and anti-Republic forces. The entire country became divided between Dreyfusards and anti-Dreyfusards. The subsequent trial and its anti-Semitic overtones served as an impetus for many Jews (i.e. Herzl) to become aware of their own Jewishness.


Federation of Jewish Charities was organized. It was the first organization to combine five separate groups for the purpose of common fund raising.

1895 - 1986 (13 Adar 5746) MOSES FEINSTEIN (Russia-USA)

Rabbi, halachist and leader of American Orthodox Jewry. Born in Uzda, Belarus, he was the Rabbi of Luban until he left for the United States in 1937. He was head of the Mesivta (Yeshiva) Tiferes Yerushalayim in New York. Rabbi Feinstein became the world-renowned leader in the applications of Halacha to modern technology and current issues. His responsa Igrot Moshe are accepted as the final word by most of the Orthodox Ashkenazi community.

1895 - 1982 NAHUM GOLDMANN (Lithuania-Germany-USA)

Jewish and Zionist leader. Goldmann was very involved early on in Zionist activities. After World War II he choose not to live in Israel, a move for which he was much criticized. Despite his personal separation of Zionism from living in Israel, he served in senior positions in the World Zionist Organization. Goldmann was a key player in the reparation agreements between Germany and Israel. He was active in the World Jewish Congress serving as its president until 1977. He was also was instrumental in the publication of the Encyclopedia Judaica.

1895 January 5, DREYFUS AFFAIR (France)

Dreyfus was tried and found guilt of treason. He was publicly degraded and sent to Devil's Island. Later on evidence was produced which proved that Major Esterhazy and Colonel Henry, Dreyfus' chief accusers, had forged the evidence, yet a new trial was not begun until 1899.


A Yiddish newspaper was established by Abraham Cahan. The paper soon emerged as the leading labor daily in New York.

1896 NOVARDOK (Belarus)

Rabbi Joseph Hurwitz established a yeshiva devoted to Kabbalah, asceticism and the training of teachers.

1896 - 1981 DAVID WECHSLER (USA)

Psychologist. Wechsler served as Chief Psychologist at Bellevue hospital in New York and produced a standard intelligence test which is named after him. His tests tracks performance by age and helps diagnose brain abnormalities.


Kvutzot Yaakov " The collection of Jacob" was composed and published by Rabbi Jacob Margaliyot. It included chapters on ethics ,commandments, and tales of early Hasidic masters. It was published 20 times in different formats over next century.


Aka Tante (aunt) Truus. Dutch resistance hero, organizer of the kindertransports to England, and savior of thousands of Jewish children. After the outbreak of war, she continued her efforts to help refugees escape as well as providing them with food and shelter. She was arrested in May 1942 but succeeded in being released, continuing her work until the end of the war. After the war she was active in helping reunite families. In 1966 she was honored as a Righteous Among the Nations by the Israeli government.

1896 - 1989 SALO BARON (Austria-USA)

Historian and Scholar. Baron received doctorates in law, philosophy, and political science as well as rabbinical ordination. Although a prolific author, he is chiefly famed for his 17 volume A Social and Religious History of the Jews which relates to social history rather then concentrating on personalities.

1896 - 1989 SALO BARON (Galicia-USA)

Known as probably the greatest Jewish historian of the 20th century. He collaborated with his wife Jeannette on many of his books including his magnum opus, A Social and Religious History of the Jews . He was ordained by the Jewish Theological seminary in Vienna and held three doctorates.


Jurist and presidential advisor. Rosenman began his liberal politics helping Roosevelt when he was governor of New York. He continued in this role throughout Roosevelt's presidential terms in office. Rosenman is credited with coining the slogan, the New Deal and the term "the Brain Trust" He was especially helpful to Weizmann bringing him the information that Truman would recognize the Jewish state as long as partition was still accepted by the UN.

1896 January 20, - 1996 GEORGE BURNS (Nathan Birnbaum) (USA)

Comedian and centenarian. Burns also began his career singing at the age of seven, although he did it on his own at street corners. In 1923, he began his life long partnership in entertainment with Gracie Allen who became his wife. Their radio program ran from 1932 -1949 and after which they moved into television. Burns won an Academy Award in 1975 for his appearance in The Sunshine Boys.

1896 February 14, HERZL (Vienna, Austria)

Published Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State). This was basically a revision of his Address to the Rothschilds. In it Herzl envisioned a Jewish state as the only solution to the "Jewish Question". This could be attained in two stages, firstly the establishment of a political base and then mass aliyah (immigration). Many Western European Jews rejected his thesis, but it had the effect of pushing him into the spotlight and thereafter he was regarded the leader of the Zionist movement.


The first veteran's organization in America was founded. It later became the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America.


Among the 6 Jews who won medals (8 gold), were two cousins on the German gymnastics team, Alfred and Gustav (Felix) Flatow. Alfred won three gold medals Gustav two. During WWW II they fled to the Netherlands. They were eventually deported to Theresienstadt where they both died, Gustav of starvation..


William Hechler, the Anglican minister who befriended Herzl, met with his friend the Grand Duke Frederick I of Baden, ( the Kaisers’ uncle) and the Kaiser himself. He broached the idea of restoration of the Jews to their historic homeland. This led to a meeting between Herzl, the grand duke and Hechler on April 23, which in turn led to the later historic meetings between Herzl and the Kaiser.


Roman Dmowski, Jan Poplawski, and Sigismund Balicki founded the Endeks (National Democrats) which vowed to refuse Jews citizenship and expel them. They planned to have a "national state, not a state of nationals".

1897 PRAGUE (Bohemia)

After a decade of developing anti-Semitism, anti-Jewish riots broke out.

1897 VIENNA (Austria)

Franz Joseph confirmed the election of Karl Lueger as Mayor of Vienna (after refusing to do so three times). Lueger's party, the anti-Semitic Christian Social Party, was the first to come to power using anti-Semitism as a platform.


The Jewish population was estimated at 1,321,000. This is 14.5 percent of the total populace.


Crime boss. Though quiet, Lepke was known for his violence. He ruled over an army of gangsters who controlled unions and the extortion rackets. Lepke was one of the founders of the National Crime Syndicate and was in charge of the enforcement branch which became known as "Murder Inc." In 1944 he was executed in Sing Sing Prison for killing a truck driver.


Columnist and commentator, Winchell is considered one of the architects of modern journalism. He was famous for his sensational disclosures for which he became a byword. Two thirds of American radio listeners and weekly readers (estimated at 35 million people) followed his often harsh commentaries about American political and social life. Winchell was one of the first to warn about the rise of the Nazis in Germany.


Was opened as an Orthodox rabbinical seminary. It later expanded into Yeshiva University, with both Jewish and secular studies, a medical school (Einstein), and a graduate school (Ferkauf).

1897 June 4, DIE WELT (The World) (Vienna, Austria)

First publication of the Zionist weekly founded by Theodore Herzl. Die Welt ran until 1914 and was the official publication of the World Zionist Organization. The paper dealt with Zionist ideas and events as well as anti- Semitism. Among its editors were Martin Buber and Nahum Sokolow.

1897 August 29, FIRST ZIONIST CONGRESS (Basel, Switzerland)

Was convened by Theodore Herzl and Max Nordau. It was represented by a hundred and ninety-seven delegates. Herzl put forth his Basel Program, whose aim was "the establishment of a Jewish Homeland in Eretz Israel secured by public law". The congress endorsed the founding of the Zionist Organization later known as the World Zionist Organization, along with other permanent institutions. It also endorsed the Zionist congress as a national assembly representing the entire Jewish people. The congress transformed the Zionist movement into an official political movement.

1897 October 7, FIRST CONFERENCE OF THE BUND (Jewish Workers Union) (Vilna,Lithuania)

It was the first Jewish Socialist party in Eastern Europe. At first decidedly anti-Zionist and pro-Yiddishist, it was organized as a union of Russian Jewish socialist groups. The Bund exerted a great influence on Jews in Europe and America.


In an article discussing the Dreyfus Affair, comments that “The Jewish race, the deicide people… bearing with it everywhere the pestiferous breath of treason.... And so, too, in the Dreyfus case...it is hardly surprising if we again find the Jew in the front ranks, or if we find that the betrayal of one's country has been Jewishly conspired and Jewishly executed.”

1898 CUBA

Jews were granted the previously forbidden right to build synagogues and worship publicly.

1898 RISHON LEZION (Eretz Israel)

The first Hebrew speaking kindergarten opened.

1898 - 1995 ALFRED EISENSTAEDT (Germany-USA)

Has been called the "father of photojournalism". Starting in Berlin in 1929 he produced candid but incisive documentary photographs and portraits. In 1936, he became one of the original staff photographers of Life Magazine.

1898 - 1936 GEORGE GERSHWIN (Brooklyn, USA)

Considered by some to be the greatest Twentieth Century composer. He studied under Rubin, the composer of Hiawatha, and Gettysburg Requiem, and had a powerful influence on American music. His immortal Rhapsody in Blue, a classical jazz piece, was performed by Paul Whitman in 1924. Other great works include Porgy and Bess and An American in Paris.

1898 - 1978 GOLDA MEIR (MEYERSON) (Russia-USA-Eretz Israel)

Fourth Prime Minister of Israel. Born in Russia, her earliest memories were of the pogroms. Her family moved to Milwaukee and in 1921 she moved from there to Israel and worked at various jobs on a kibbutz and in the Histadrut. She became Ambassador to Russia in 1948 and Foreign Minister in 1956. In 1970, after the death of Levi Eshkol, she was appointed Prime Minister and served until after the Yom Kippur War when, accused of unpreparedness, she resigned.

1898 - 1988 ISADORE RABI (USA)

Physicist and Nobel Prize winner. Rabi was a pioneer in the fields of nuclear physics and quantum mechanics. He served in the advisory committee of the Atomic Energy Commission and helped create the European Center for Nuclear Research.

1898 - 1992 MOLLY PICON (USA)

Actress and comedienne. She originally gained fame in the Yiddish theater, but made a successful transition to English. Picon stared in films, plays and on the radio. One her most famous Yiddish roles was in Yiddle Mit a Fiddle in 1936.

1898 - 1948 SERGEI EISENSTEIN (Russia)

Russian film director. An architect by training, he joined the Russian Revolution. His first film was in 1924 Strike but it was his next film which propelled him into film history with The Battleship Potemkin. He was constantly having to fight Soviet politics, often having parts of his films re-edited (October), or even withheld (Ivan the Terrible) if it did not meet Stalin's approval. His classic films included The General Line, Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible.

1898 January 13, EMILE ZOLA (France)

Acting on behalf of Dreyfus, he issued his famous "J'Accuse" letter in Clemenceau's paper L'Aurore condemning the French establishment in the Dreyfus Affair.


The Russian government arrested 70 participants. Many were exiled.


Fifteen Jews serving on the battleship the USS Maine were killed when it sank. Five thousand Jews served in the American Army, a ratio of 20% more than the general population including 30 army and 20 naval officers. The first person of Colonel Roosevelt's Rough Riders to reach the top of San Juan Hill was also a Jew - Irving Peixotto and the first to be killed was Jacob Wilbusky.


Was established. The OU, as it became known, is the largest organization of Orthodox synagogues in the U.S.A. Today it is known for kashrut supervision on thousands of products in North America. It plays an important role in informal Jewish education through its student organization Yavneh and its National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) groups. It also sponsores the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists.


The Papal Nuncio in Vienna, reported back to the Vatican regarding anti-Semitic pogroms occurring in Galicia. In his report he blamed the Jews for the violence: "… it cannot be denied that Jews and Jewish property are being exposed to ferocious reprisals.…[T]he main cause is none other than the Jews themselves. With their usury and their dishonest business dealings, they have created anti-Semitism themselves."rn

1898 October 1, KIEV (Ukraine)

A decree by the Russian Czar (Nicholas II) explicitly barred Jews from living in major Russian cities. The action followed laws issued the previous May (the "May laws"), restricting Jewish settlement to the Pale of Settlement. In Kiev, alone, some 7000 Jews were forced to relocate.

1898 October 28, KAISER WILLIAM II (Germany)

Visited Eretz Israel and met with Herzl. Herzl was disappointed by the lack of commitment on the part of the Kaiser. Much of this was due to the opposition to the Zionist enterprise of German liberal Jews, bankers, and his foreign minister, Bernhard von Buelow.

1899 - 1902 BOER WAR (South Africa)

A direct outcome of the war was the movement into the interior. Jewish settlements were established and strengthened in Durban, Johannesburg, and Pretoria. At the time there were approximately 25,000 Jews in South Africa.


The famed Russian poet (1743 – 1816) had been appointed by czar Paul I to investigate the famine in white Russia. In his report Opinion, he placed most of the blame on the "mercenary trades" of Jews.

1899 JEWISH COLONIAL TRUST (England-Eretz Israel)

The financial arm of the World Zionist Organization was set up in England by Herzl. Its goal was to encourage Jewish settlement and projects which would "advance the Zionist cause". One of its subsidiaries, the Anglo-Palestine Company, later became Bank Leumi. Other investment helped create the Israel Electric Cooperation and Bank Hapoalim.

1899 - 1942 LILLI HENOCH (Germany)

Major women’s sports figure. Henoch was an all around athlete competing in track and field. She set four world records and won 10 national championships. Unfortunately she never was able to participate in the Olympics; in 1924 Germany was banned and in 1936 the Germans refused to allow her to compete. She and her mother were deported to Riga where they were murdered in September 1942.

1899 - 1966 MOSHE KOUSSEVITZKY (Kusevitsky) (Lithuania - USA)

Hazzan. Koussevitzky became the cantor in the Great Synagogue of Vilna in 1924. After an argument in 1927 between Sirota and the Board regarding his frequent concerts, Koussevitzky was appointed in his place at the Great Synagogue ("Tlomackie Shul") in Warsaw. During WWII he found refuge in Russia where he even performed in the Russian Opera. He immigrated to the United States after the war. He was considered by many to rival Yossele Rosenblatt for the title of the greatest cantor of all times.

1899 April 1, HILSNER AFFAIR (Polna,Bohemia)

A young seamstress was found murdered in a forest, her throat cut. Leopold Hilsner, a 23 year old semi illiterate tramp, was seen near the site and accused of the murder despite the lack of incriminating evidence. It soon developed into a ritual murder accusation and Hislner was sentenced to death. Through the efforts of Tomas Masaryk (later the first President of Czechoslovakia) an appeal was made to the Supreme Court. Masaryk also published a pamphlet against ritual murder accusations. Hilsner was again sentenced to death but it was commuted to life imprisonment. He was pardoned by Karl (Charles)I of Austria on March 24, 1918.

1899 September 9, DREYFUS' SECOND TRIAL (France)

Dreyfus was again convicted of treason but due to "extenuating circumstances" he was sentenced to "only" five more years of imprisonment. On the advice of his lawyer, Waldeck-Rousseau, Dreyfus withdrew his appeal and was granted a "pardon" by the president of the republic.


Asked Pope Leo XIII to denounce ritual murder accusations. Monsignor Rafael Merry del Val of the Holy Office ( formally the inquisition) who was appointed to reply wrote in part, " … the temerity of the powerful Jews of London, who, in their unchallenged rule in Europe have reached the point of such lunacy that they would pretend to be defended by the Holy See."

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