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May 05, 1995 - Image 46

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-05-05

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

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40

An Arty Kind Of Cat

This lifesaving message generously brought to you by this publication

Q: Is it true that
singer Art Garfunkel got
his big break playing a
cat?
A: It certainly is

true. Mr. Garfunkel
was at grammar
school in Forest
Hills, N.Y., when
he won the coveted
role of the
Cheshire Cat in
Alice in Wonder-
land. Another of
the show's key
performers was
the boy starring as
White Rabbit. His
name was Paul Si-
mon.

Q: Is it true that
Czech leader Jan
Masaryk was once mar-
ried to a Jew?
A: Masaryk was en-

Q: I keep hearing the word "holo-
caust" used to describe what's go-
ing on in Bosnia. Is it really the
same as what happened to Jews
during World War II?
A: No, and there are a

number of differences.
First, the war in
Bosnia is a conflict be-
tween brothers. As
much as they profess ha-
tred for one another, the
Serbs and the Croats —be
they Orthodox, Catholic or
Muslim — speak the same
language and share a common
basic culture (with differences
allowed for religious practice).
The Germans and their col-
laborators regarded the Jews
as an alien race intruding on
their soil and their culture (this
in spite of the fact that Jews
had lived in Eu-
Art Garfunkel: rope for 2,000
The cat's
years).
meow.
Second, the
Serbs, Croats and
Muslims each have armies,
weapons and outside sources of
assistance.
The Jews in Nazi-occupied
Europe were a helpless, un-
armed civilian population. Most
had never touched a gun.
Third, the Bosnian war is the

gaged to a Jewish
woman, Marcia
Davenport, but they never mar-
ried. Before they could be wed
in 1948, Masaryk died under
strange circumstances.
Masaryk was Czechoslova-
kia's foreign minister when he
met Ms. Davenport, a novelist
born in New York. The two be-
came friendly following Ms.
Davenport's decision to support
Czech freedom fighters during
the Nazi occupation of their
country. She later settled in
Prague with Masaryk until the
Communist occupation of
Czechoslovakia, when she
moved to London. Masaryk
planned to join her there, but
died days after she left.
The daughter of opera singer
Alma Gluck, Ms. Davenport
was on the staff of both the New
Yorker and Fortune magazines
(she was married for a time to
Fortune managing editor Rus-
sell Davenport). She was the
author of Of Lena Geyer (1936),
Valley of Decision (a 1942 nov-
el about the Pittsburgh steel
mills, it also was made into a
film), My Brother's Keeper and
an autobiography, Too Strong
For Fantasy.
Jan Masaryk was the son of
Tomas Masaryk, founder of the
Czech Republic. He died March
10, 1948, after falling from the
window of the Czernin Palace.
Although his death was offi- current manifestation of a con-
cially ruled a suicide, most flict that has been going on for
scholars today believe he was generations.
murdered.
The Jews had been victim-
ized for hundreds of years. The

Germans and their collabora-
tors had never suffered a mili-
tary defeat at the hands of
Jews.
Fourth, the war in Bosnia is
over territory. The Croats,
Serbs and Muslims all believe
they alone are entitled to rule
over Bosnia.
The Jews did not control and
never claimed sovereignty over
any of the territory in which
they resided. In most places,
laws prevented Jews from own-
ing land. Even in towns and vil-
lages where Jews formed the
majority of the population, po-
litical control was in the hands
of gentiles.
Fourth, the Muslims, Serbs
and Croats basically want each
other to vacate the territory
they claim and don't care what
happens afterward. (Hundreds
of Bosnian Muslims have re-
settled in Turkey and no Serb
or Croat force comes after them
there.)
The Holocaust was a cam-
paign of extermination. The
Germans did not want the Jews
to move elsewhere; they want-
ed them dead.
Fifth, the whole world is
watching the war in Bosnia.
The United Nations and NATO
have gotten involved. The
American president has
spoken out and the war is
debated in the Congress.
The governments of
the Allies knew of the
Holocaust, but still did
nothing to help the Jews.

Q: Could it really be true
that opera star Beverly Sills
once touted the joys of soap
flakes?
A: It's time for Beverly

(born Belle Silverman) to
come clean. She was in-
deed the Rinso White
I soap songstress in those
wonderful "Rinso White,
Rinso White, happy little
wash day" commercials.
That has nothing to do
with her nickname, by
the way. "Bubbles" is the
result of the fact that Ms.
Sills was born with a
large bubble of saliva in
her mouth, which her
doctor regarded as good
luck.

Send questions to "Tell Me Why"
c I o The Jewish News, 27676
Franklin Rd., Southfield, MI
48034 or send fax to 354-6069.

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