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July 24, 1987 - Image 42

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-07-24

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

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Dr. Donald
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42

FRIDAY, JULY 24, 1987

Dr. Robert
Beitman

Dr. Robert
Clark

Dr. Amy
Eston

prisons that he wrote Letters
From the Tombs, which was
published by the Schappes
Defense Committee. That's
where he also edited An Epis-
tle to the Hebrews by Emma
Lazarus. This volume has
assumed historical American
Jewish significance. It has
been reprinted in a revised
centennial edition and an-
notated by Schappes.
While he has defined
himself as a Marxist scholar,
Schappes will always be con-
sidered an historian as well
as an editor of note. His
academic career continues
since his exoneration. His
literary record is especially
enhanced by A Documentary
History of the Jews in the U.S.,
1654 to 1875.

'Freiheit'
Addendum

Metropolitan Eye Surgeons

Metropolitan Eye

Editor Schappes

Continued from Page 2

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There is an addendum to
the Schappes story that
should be labeled "Freiheit."
Schappes was and remains
a supporter of the Morning
Freiheit which had a direct
lineage to the Jewish Com-
munists in the Soviet Union.
The Encyclopedia Judaica
has a direct reference to that
period in the history of Yid-
dish journalism in America.
It is an indictment not.to be
ignored. The Encyclopedia
Judaica statement reads:
Morning Freiheit — U.S.
daily Yiddish newspaper.
Founded in 1922 by the
Jewish section of the
American Communist Par-
ty, the Freiheit managed
for several years under the
editorship of Moissay
Olgin to maintain high
journalistic standards and
to assemble a staff that in-
cluded such first-rate
writers as H. Leivick,
Moshe Leib Halpern,
David Ignatoff, and Moshe
Katz.
By the late 1920s,
however, the Freiheit had
become an unanswering
party organ, as was
demonstrated by its total
support for the Arabs dur-
ing the 1929 Palestine riots.
This position alienated
many of its readers and
caused its circulation to
slip sharply from its peak
of 14,000. Subsequently, the
Freiheit remained loyal to
the Moscow line through
the Hitler-Stalin pact and
the Cold War, regaining a
measure of independence
only in the 1950s, with the
onset of de-Stalinization in
Russia. In 1970 it was ap-
pearing five times a week
and had an estimated 8,000
circulation.
As stated, this is an item of

interest in the Jewish jour-
nalism story. The reference to
Olgin has some importance.
He was an outstanding par-
ticipant in Yiddish literary
tasks.
Then there is the question
of circulation. The American
Jewish Committee's research
department secured for me
the present circulation figure
of 4,650. This is not such a
bad retention of reader in-
terest. This is not such a bad
retention of reader interest.
With its far leftist
background, Freiheit retains
some power, compared with
the Jewish Forward's current
20,000 circulation.
This has some merit also in
a situation when the Freiheit
is denied recognition in
general Jewish circles and a
copy of it is unavailable on a
Jewish newspaper stand.
Both the Freihert and For-
ward keep pleading for finan-
cial support and for contribu-
tions "to survive."
The Freiheit editor had a
Communist tinge and his
paper lost respect during the _
Stalin-Hitler pact. That's
when the widespread con-
demnation of the Freiheit and
its editor, Paul Novick, took
shape.
Morris Schappes has just
written to me a defense of
Novick and the Freiheit. The
contention is that Freiheit is
no longer anti-Israel: It is on-
ly following a leftist and
critical policy.
Schappes' defense, in his
letter to me, states:
"Novick was expelled from
the Communist Party from 10
to 15 years ago. Once then he
has been viciously attacked
by Aron Vergelis, editor of
Soviet Heimland . . . The
Frieiheit. and Jewish Cur-
rents have been attacked by
Communist Party publica-
tions in this country . . ."
Nevertheless, the Freiheit
remains ostracized by the rest
of the Jewish press and by the
Peretz Farein, the organiza-
tion of Jewish authors and
journalists.

IMEN1111111111111111M

I NEWS I

1•11=1111111•11111MI

$4.1 Million
Raised By UJA

Chicago — The United
Jewish Appeal's Missions
Department has taken almost
1,200 Jewish community
leaders to Israel on 29
customized trips in the first
five months of 1987. The par-
ticipants, caucusing at the
end of each Mission, raised
$4.1 million to support
humanitarian programs and
social services for Jews at
home, in Israel and in 33
countries around the world.

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