100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

August 16, 1968 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-08-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Merano

Italian Spot With Memories Depicting Old, Current Nazi Terrors

By JOSEF FRAENKEL
Special London Correspondent
of The Jewish News
Merano, in Italy's South Tyrol,
had about 700 Jewish inhabitants
before the last war; now only 30
remain. This town was popular
with Jews because of its "Jewish
Sanatorium," subsidized for a time
by the Joint Distribution Commit-
tee, but which no longer exists.
Peretz Smolenskin, the Hebrew
writer and editor of "Hashahar"
(Vienna), entered this sanatorium
to regain his health, but died in
Merano in 1885, at the age of 45.
Franz Kafka came here in search
of a cure, and his doctor, Dr. Jo-
seph Kohn, emigrated from Me-
rano to Israel after the Second
World War. Chaim Weizmann also
used to come to Merano on holi-
day.
Merano has a fine Temple, open-
ed in 1901, but today only on rare
occasions and on holy days are
services held. A few years ago the
Temple was daubed with anti-
Jewish slogans and swastikas.
•Merano no longer has a rabbi or
hebrew teacher; for high festi-
vals, a rabbi or hazan from Ve-
rona visits Merona.
The German-speaking popula-
tion of Merano is known for its
anti-Semitism. When the Germans
marched into Merano in Septem-
ber 1943, the German-speaking
citizens helped, eagerly, to deport

the Jews. The Italian police, how-
ever, warned the Jews of impend-
ing arrests or deportations so that
many were able to escape in time.
A memorial stone has been erect-
ed at the Jewish cemetery for the
50 victims who died in concentra-
tion camps. Another is in honor
of "Professor Boris," who helped
Jews to go to Palestine. It was
erected by the "Members of the
Bricha."

* * *

Because of the sympathy for
them of the German-speaking pop-
ulation, Merano was used as a
haven of escape by over 100 Nazi
criminals, who f ound hiding-
places here and in the surround-
ing villages. The wife of Dr. Josef
Mengele lives in Merano. She runs
a tractor factory and is said to be
very wealthy. Martin Bormann's
daughter, through marriage to a
member of a well-known Nazi and
terrorist family, became an Ita-
lian citizen. In spite of the pro-
tests of the Jewish community, she
teaches in a German elementary
school in Merano. Members of the
Hermann Goering family also set-
tled in Merano. Near this town,
the Nazis printed their counterfeit
dollars and pounds.

About two months ago, the mem-
hers of the Jewish community in
Merano, Bolzano and the surround-
ing villages—in all about 50 Jews
—elected a new president, the

young and energetic Dr. Frederico
Steinhaus. His book on the Jews
of Spain, before and after the In-
quisition, is to appear this year in
Bologna. His main task, as presi-
dent of the Jewish community, is
to care for the upkeep of the Tem-
ple and cemetery and to find a
hazen for the High Holy Days. He
intends to organize a communal
Seder for the whole community
and—from time to time, to show
Israeli films to keep Jewish inter-
est alive; he is very pessimistic
about the survival of the Jewish
community.
* *
Jewish Soap
In the second half of July, a
local shopkeeper was offered 50
bars of soap by a widow who had
found them in her cellar. Her hus-
band — so she declared — had
bought them from the German
military stores during the last
war. The shopkeeper exhibited the
50 soap bars in a transparent
plastic container in his window.
An Italian Catholic of Merano who
had been interned in Buchenwald,
recognized them immediately as
"Judenseife"; the soap distributed
by the S. S. in the concentration
camp to the inmates. Each bar
has an engraved number, 0081, on
it and the letters RIF, Reichsin-
dustriefett (German Fats Indus-
try). When the Italian informed
the shopkeeper that the soap was
made of human fat, he stopped

Adah Isaacs Menken- 'Beauty and the Beast'

selling it and President Sleinahaus
bought it all- (50 pieces) for 5,000
lires. He reported it to the police
a few bars to Rome for analysis.
who confiscated the soap and sent
The results are expected in about
two months. According to some
sources it will be most difficult
to analyze whether the soap is
made of human or animal fat after
a lapse of 25 years.
The Nazis were most "pedantic"
in their murder and robbery: they
collected the clothing, shoes, gold
tooth-fillings, earrings, necklaces,
watches, bracelets and glasses of
their victims; used women's hair
for "felt" boots, skin for lamp-
shades and their fat for soap. 0081
is the number of the factory which
manufactured the soap. It is
known that there was such a soap
factory in the Polish town of
Wrzeszcz, near Danzig.
At the end of July, Dr. Steinhaus
received an anonymous threaten-
ing note, posted in Merano: "Next
time we shall not just cut off the
grisly snake's tail, but its head.
After the final extermination of
the Jews, soon to take place, there
will be soap made of 24 million
Jews." The note concludes with
"Heil Hitler" and "Heil Bormann,
may God grant him a long life."
I have just visited Merano, and
when I saw women in the Bier-
halle, I wondered whether the
Mengeles, Bormanns and Goerings
were there among them discussing
Nazi affairs.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, August 16, 1968-17

Knesset Nixes Loopholes
in Nonproliferation Treaty

JERUSALEM (JTA)—The Knes-
set Aug. 7 rejected a motion ask-
ing the government to sign the non-
proliferation draft treaty on nu-
clear weapons. The motion was
submitted by Tewfik Toubi, an
Arab member of the New Commu-
nist faction.
Foreign Minister Abba. Eban said
that Israel favored the treaty in
principle, but like many other
countries, had several reservations .
and was seeking to have the draft
amended accordingly.
Israel contended that the draft
as it stands does not contain suf-
ficient guarantees to safeguard
non-nuclear nations against attack
by nuclear powers and for the un-
hampered development of nuclear
power for peaceful uses.

V I P. ?

SEE OR CALL

VIC

WHEN YOU AC VCOCKTAIL

DOUCETTE

AT

W iLon-Criaoman ,

Cali/lac

1350 N. Woodward Birmingham
In 1863, Adah hit on the role in Britain, she replied: "We have
Remembered more for her bare-
MI 4-1930
back stallion rides on the stage of "Mazeppa," in Lord Byron's joined ourselves to the battle of
right. . . ."
than for her poetry and her ardent melodrama of the same name. It Israel's
Res. 357-0326
More poems appeared, and her
• 42 PROOF
_CETPO!T. O. S
UNI7E.9 BR,,ShOS
support of Jewish causes, Adah was perfect: she was beautiful and largest collection, dedicated to her
Isaacs Menken, who died 100 years daring, and the Victorian era was friend Charles Dickens, was pub-
ago, was one of 19th century preoccupied with nudity. Her fi-
America's most colorful personali- nale was to ride unclothed off lished after her death at Paris on
August 10, 1868. Legend has it
ties. Her writings on Jewish stage tied to the back of a stallion. that a rabbi comforted her last
themes were published in books Reports differ on what she wore. hours.
She was first buried in the
and newspapers. Her wit and beau- The impression was nudity, and it Paris Jewish cemetery, but moved
ty attracted the leading literary scandalized a society which filled later to Montparnasse, where a
figures of Britain, France, and theaters to witness the most fa- marble monument was built to
America. And her most famous mous ride since Lady Godiva.
5729c)
1968
Adah's companions are an honor her. It is said that a Rothschild
role, "Mazeppa," became a house-
paid for the stone.
hold word for lewd and indecent roll of 19th Century genius:
Mrs. IvIem,...1 who was the toast
conduct in her Victorian genera- Walt Whitman, Bret Harte and of her era, beautiful anu ie.ttered,
tion. The career of this "Jewess-in- Mark Twain in America, Dumas was a fierce partisan of her reli-
t i gh t s" is documented at the the elder and Victor Hugo in gion. Since her death 100 years
American Jewish Archives, on the France, Algernon Swinburne in ago, it has become possible to un-
Cincinnati campus of the Hebrew Britain. Her writings were spread dertake a more dispassionate study
Union College-Jewish Institute of over a 12-year period, parallel of her life, says Dr. Jacob R. Mar-
to her stage fortunes. The first cus, director of the American Jew-
Religion.
Many of the details of Adah's to appear was a volume entitled ish Archives. Jews today will take
rife are obscure or confused by "Memories," later attributed to pride in the way this exotic woman
her, but published under a pen-
contradictory tales, often told for name. She contributed poems reg- maintained her ties to the Jewish
Oak Park
actress
people in a career which ignored
publicity
value
by
the
their
ularly for about two years to most other conventions.
marriages,
Yet
her
four
herself.
OPEN DAILY 9:30 to 9:00; SUNDAY 10:30 to 8:00
Isaac M. Wise's Israelite in Cincin-
her many friends, and the beauty
nati.
which perturbed an era of gentle-
Helping Hand Offered
"Will he never come?
>1,016K
X.X>1.EK
irOX %.<407 X.X
men—all these are fact: "Duches-
Will
the
Jew
to
Riot-Torn
Merchants
and
young
are
if
they
even
ses,
In exile eternally pine?
CLEVELAND (JTA)—The Jewish
beautiful, pass unnoticed when
By idolaters scorned,
Community Federation of Cleve-
is
in
sight,"
a
La Belle Menken
pitied by a few/
land is working on a program to
Will he never his vows to
London columnist wrote.
help Jewish merchants whose en-
Jehovah
renew
Most biographers agree that
terprises were targets of rioting in
Beneath
his
own
olive
and
vine?"
Adah Bertha Theodore was born
Some writers said Mrs. Menken the most recent outbreak of racial
1835
at
New
in
to Jewish parents
even extended the Messianic be- disorders here. At the same time,
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, August 16, 17, 18
Orleans, La. She was educated in lief to herself. She certainly rose federation President Lloyd S.
classics, Hebrew, and the arts, to the occasion when the Jew Schwenger expressed continued
and married Alexander Isaacs Lionel Rothschild won his right full support for Mayor Carl Stokes'
Menken, a Jewish musician from as an Englishman to take his seat efforts to meet the urban crisis
Cincinnati, when she was 21. His in Parliament. To a bigoted editor thrugh such programs as "Cleve-
Were $55 to $75
fortunes fell and hers rose, and
Broken Sizes
land Now."
she left him about three years
Schwenger said the federation
Were
to $165
later. It was the longest of her Efforts Made in London
would continue to work "with all
marriages. She in a r r i e d three to Alter BBC Decision
our citizens to enable those whose
Were $85 to $110
more, times and gathered men
Efforts are businesses have been damaged to
LONDON (JTA)
around her wherever she per- being made here to the foreign re-establish themselves in the com-
formed. Popular journals of the ministry to reconsider its recom- munity." He added that details of
*Minimum Charge for Alterations
times allude to limitless love af- mendation of the suspension of the the aid program were being de-
fairs,_, but there was neither con- British Broadcasting Corporation's veloped by the federation's com-
Off on Newly Arrived
firmation nor denial by the publi-
Topcoats
& Overcoats
munity
relations
committee
and
30-minute Hebrew broadcast, part
city-hungry young actress.
of the BBC's daily overseas short- that "the whole gamut of federa-
Mtra#,fts
tion services" would be made
Wave service.
The announcement that the He- available to the businessmen who
brew broadcast will be suspended will be given "every kind of help
brought a flood of letters from possible."
CUSTOM
protesting listeners in many coun-
TAILOR
Most things are governed by
tries, including several in the
the law of demand, but making
Communist bloc.
AUGUST 21-23
Monday, Conservative MP John mistakes isn't one of them.
13641 W. 9 MILE
1 to 10 P.M.
. Biggs-Davidson called on Richard
Just
W. of Coolidge
H. S. Crossman, lord, president of
Antiques and Will-Be's
Share in
the council, to ask the foreign sec-
LI 5-3558
Freedom
retary to reconsider the decision.
Biggs-Davidson said, in a letter to
Open Mon., Thins., Fri., to 9 p.m.
Sign up for
Crossman, that many people be-
27777 SCHOOLCRAFT
Sat. to 7 p.m.; Sun. 11 to 3
U.S. SAVINGS BONDS
lieved
that
the
suspension
of
the
NEW FREEDOM SHARES
50 Dealers
broadcast was inspired by bias.

Aut
tteue
Came

NOW AVAILABLE AT

13645 W. NINE MILE

3984764

TO MAKE ROOM FOR NEW FALL CLOTHING

3 DAY SPECIAL

SPORT JACKETS

SUITS

*NOW $39.50

NOW $49.50

NOW $5

9 5

20 To

U■10■011111*04/W,

i111.04...4, •■•0■MWOMI

I

FLEA
MARKET

ROMA HALL

0 01111* 111•111.(1 !1■ I

1.4 MIK NINO

01111111.41



4

ir

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan