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May 28, 1993 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-05-28

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T al ee


enjamin Lemberg liked to
of jeremiads" "philoso-
hold up a postcard as
phers of delusion" are in
proof that the United
the introduction, a tribute
States is the best nation
to the men's dedication to
on earth.
America. "Both," Mr.
"Look at this," he would
Adler observes, "have
say, taking the card from
lived through enough to
his desk. "Is there a coun-
crumble weaker charac-
try in the world that can
ters or to make maniacs
boast of anything like
out of men with less self-
The card, with its
The Rice-Lemberg saga
penny postage, was an
begins in the early part of
invitation to a "spelling
the century.
and word usage class" at
Born and raised in
Detroit Eastern High.
Russian Ukrainia of
"Why, this postal card
Jewish parents, Rice and
is a picture of the United
Lemberg were caught in
States," Mr. Lemberg
the maelstrom which has
said. "Evening schools,
swept that portion - of the
free tuition, a high school
globe since 1914, Mr.
teacher sending personal
Adler writes. The war, the
invitations to his students
German invasion, the
to attend a special class
Kerensky and Lenin revo-
in the evening. And the
lutions, the numerous
students are
only foreigners,
t i o n a ry
poor immi-
attempts —
each left its
bloody imprint
Lemberg under-
on Ukrainia.
stood very well
By the end of
what it meant
1920, more
to live in a
than 30,000
country blessed
Jews would
with freedom,
perish in the
democracy and
pogroms, and
He had come Benjamin Lemberg
entire commu-
to the United
nities would be
States after surviving
horrors in Russia. He
Manuel Rice was 15
came without a penny;
and attending school in
then with his cousin,
Odessa when the war
Manuel Rice, he built up
started. In 1919, his par-
a thriving hardware busi-
ents brought him home to
ness on the corner of
Cherny Ostrov. The town,
Gratiot and Brewster. So
northwest of Proskurov,
successful were the two
had been occupied by the
men, such staunch advo-
Soviets. Manuel was
cates of the American way
home two days when
of life, that their story
word came that Semyon
filled an entire page in
Petlyura, head of the
the Detroit News in 1926.
notoriously anti-Semitic
Both men have long
Ukrainian nationalist
since died, but the unfold-
forces, was on his way.
ing of their dream contin-
Together with about 40
ues to this day.
others, Manuel hid in a
hilip Adler's article,
cellar as Petlyura's troops
published in the
advanced. On the third
metropolitan sec-
day, the trouble began.
tion of the Detroit
They heard the sound of
News on July 25, 1926, is
shots and breaking glass,
a dramatic, poetic tale.
of people sobbing.
Grandiloquent phrases
Then the soldiers dis-
run throughout: "singers
covered the cellar.



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