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The first Yiddish school was founded.

1910 WERNER SOMBART (Germany)

A Christian economist and historian, he published a treatise on the evils of capitalism, which he ascribed to the Jews.

1910 CASIMIR FUNK (England - Poland - USA) (1884-1967)

A biochemist. While studying a deficiency disease known as beriberi at the Lister Institute in London, Funk found a substance which prevented the disease, and called it a "vitamine." Though it was actually vitamin B, the name was later used to refer to all the vitamin groups. He later also discovered that pellagra, a skin disease found in impoverished areas of the U.S., was caused by a vitamin deficiency, establishing a link between malnutrition and disease.

1910 KIEV (Ukraine)

Twelve hundred Jewish families were expelled.

1911 - 1986 HANK GREENBERG (USA)

Baseball player and all star outfielder for the Detroit tigers from 1933-1947. Greenberg was picked Most Valuable Player twice, and was the first Jew elected to the baseball Hall of Fame(1956). In 1938 he scored only two less homeruns (58) than Babe Ruth. Greenberg is considered one of baseballs greatest right hand hitters.

1911 - 1943 MIRE GOLA (Galicia, Poland)

Underground fighter and member of the communist Polish Workers Party (P.P.R). Gola who had traveled widely, urged all of her comrades to take up armed struggle, stating that time was against them. She participated in many attacks against German targets. In March 1943 she was captured and although tortured, refused to give away any information. On the way to be executed she tried to escape, but was shot and killed.

1911 June 22, - 1913 BEILIS TRIAL (Russia)

Took place after a Christian boy was found dead near a brick factory in which Mendel Beilis worked. He was accused of ritual murder by the government. The only evidence was the word of a drunken couple who claimed they saw a man with a black beard walking with the child. The Russian government actively took up the case after the assassination of Stolypin by a Jewish revolutionist. Professor Sikowsky,(Sikorsky), an eminent Professor of Psychology, "proved" that Jews use Christian blood for ritual purposes. Beilis's lawyers, Margolin and Grusenberg, fought the government for two years until diplomatic pressure forced the Russians to drop the charges. Beilis then settled in the United States, where he died after a long illness in 1934.

1911 August 19, TRADEGAR RIOTS ( Wales)

Over 250 local workers attacked and looted Jewish business's, claiming that the Jews charged too high prices for goods. Beginning with a drunken brawl, it spread through the area resulting in 15 injures, and the army being called out to regain order.

1911 October 11, LIBYA

Was conquered by Italy. Jews received equal rights and for the next 25 years (until the onset of fascist anti-Jewish legislation), the community flourished.


Twelve of the one hundred members of the Reichstag were Jewish.

1912 HERMANN COHEN (Germany)

Published The Religion of Reason from the Sources of Judaism. He described Judaism from the perspective of moral and social achievements, and though he disputed the concept of divine revelation, he promoted the need for commandments as a foundation and mold.


The fourth Duma was convened. Although a suggestion not to allow Jews to serve in the army was not accepted, it was decided that no Jew, converted Jew, or children of converted Jews were allowed to become officers in the Army.


Rabbi David Twersky a descendant of the Tolener Rebbe, became the first official Hasidic Rabbi to settle in the USA. Rabbi Joshua Segal known as the Sherpser Rav, who had who arrived in 1875 was technically, not a Hasidic Rebbe although many Hasidim gravitated to him.

1912 March 7, HADASSAH (New York, USA)

The Women's Zionist Organization of America was founded by Henrietta Szold. The name Hadassah is another name for Esther and was chosen since the meeting was held close to the Purim holiday. Their main goals included promoting Zionist ideals in the United States and improving health conditions in Eretz Israel.

1912 April 11, Technikum (Technion) (Haifa, Eretz Israel)

Was founded with the help of Paul Nathan of the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden ("Relief Organization of German Jews") and Jacob Schiff. The Technikum Institute of Technology, later to be known as the Technion,was struck the following year (see 1913), by both teachers and students when they tried to institute German as the school's language instead of Hebrew. Due to both the strike and the approaching war the school did not actually begin classes until 1924.

1912 April 17, FEZ RIOTS

Began as a protest against the French protectorate in Morocco. After attacking the local French garrison in Fez, the local soldiers attacked the Jewish quarter. Almost 7,000 Jews took refuge in the Sultans gardens, some taking shelter in empty cages used for Sultan’s menagerie. The rebels attacked anyone that they believed to be European or Jewish, killing 66 Europeans, and 42 Jews. The French retook control also using an artillery barrage, killing some 600 Moroccans


Was formed as the World Organization of Orthodox Jewry at Kattowitz, Poland. Jacob Rosenheim was its first president. It took three years of negotiation to get the organization off the ground. Its goal was to preserve a traditional community while using the Torah as a basis for all political and communal decisions. In addition to establishing education systems, they set up a labor movement (Poale Agudat Israel) and a supreme Torah authority, the Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah. The founders succeeded in combining the German (S.R. Hirsh), the Polish-Lithuanian, and the Hungarian sectors of Orthodox Jewry.

1913 FILMS (USA)

Carl Laemmle (1867-1939), the founder of Universal Studios, is credited with making the first feature-length film, Traffic in Souls. He is also considered to be the originator of the "star system" which idolized actors.


Under pressure from Congress, he abrogated the Russian Treaty of 1832 on the grounds of Russian discrimination and persecution of the Jews.


Echoing official Communist policy, he denounced Zionism as counter-revolutionary.


Considered one of if not the greatest Yiddish poet of the 20th century. He was born near Vilna, was sent to Siberia with his parents after WWI. During the war, he was active in the Vilna ghetto where his mother and infant son were killed. Sutzkever helped smuggle important documents and artifacts out of the ghetto and later joined the partisans. In March 1944 Stalin sent a plane to bring him to Moscow and he later testified at the Nuremberg trials. His works include Sibir " Siberia", Di festung “The Fortress”, and Lider fun getoi “Songs from the Ghetto”. Sutzkever founded and edited the Yiddish literary quarterly Di goldene keyt (The Golden Chain). His works were translated into 30 languages.


Of the B'nai B'rith was formed in Chicago. It soon became one of the leading organizations for protecting Jewish rights in the United States.


Was formed by Father Andrej Hlinka, and after his death, headed by Father Josef Tiso. The conservative party was against the idea of a Czechoslovakian republic, and demanded Slovakian independence. It had a decidedly religious anti liberalism, and anti-Semitic bend. After 1935 it became more overtly anti-Semitic, and its youth groups participated in many anti- Jewish riots., including the one Bratislava in April 1936. One of its leaders Karol Sidor a devote Catholic, became the Slovakian ambassador to the Vatican, and called for the expulsion of all Jews. It partnered with the Nazi Germany issuing its own anti-Jewish laws.

1913 - 2006 SAMUEL GRUBER ( Poland)

Partisan leader. Gruber had served in the Polish army and was captured by the Germans at the outbreak of the war. He was sent to Majdanek and there while working in a supply center succeeded in stealing weapons. On October 28, 1942, he convinced a number of people to join him in fleeing the area, changed his name to Mietek and founded one of the more successful a partisan units . After the war he emigrated to the United States He wrote the book ''I Chose Life''.


The "Battle of the Languages" was fought as the opening of the Technion, also then known as the Technikum, approached. Although the majority of the governing board voted for German, mass protests were held with major figures, including Ben Yehuda, threatening a boycott if Hebrew wasn't used as the language of instruction. This battle also gave impetus for the establishment of Hebrew as the official language of Eretz Israel in all spheres.


Solomon Schechter, president of the Jewish Theological Seminary, founded the United Synagogue of America, the association of Conservative synagogues in the United States and Canada. In 1957 it organized the World Council of Synagogues with membership in 22 countries.

1913 April 27, LEO FRANK (USA)

The only white man to be convicted on the testimony of a Negro until the 1960's, he was convicted of murdering Mary Phagan. Though there was little evidence against him, Tom Watson, the editor of the Jeffersonian, used the fact that Frank was a Jew to convict him before the public. Later (see 1915) Georgia Governor John Slaton, believing that the trial had been unfair, commuted the sentence to life imprisonment.

1913 May 22, HA-SHOMER HA-ZA’IR (Galicia)

Socialist –Zionist movement is founded . During the Third Aliyah, (1919–23) some 600 members of Ha-Shomer ha-Za'ir settled in Erez Israel. A kibbutz movement was established in 1927 for its members known as Kibbutz Arzi Ha-Shomer ha-Za'ir. Today they are affiliated with the leftist Mapam movement which is part of the Meretz Party.

1913 August 16, - 1991 MENACHEM BEGIN (Russia-Eretz Israel)

Commander of the Irgun Zvai Leumi, (National Military Organization) statesman and prime minister. He emerged as one of the leaders of the Revisionist Movement between the wars and commanded Betar (Brit Trumpeldor). In 1939 he escaped from Vilna and was arrested by the Russians and sentenced to eight years in a labor camp. He was released in 1941 and made his way to Israel where he became commander of the underground resistance group, Etzel. He led the opposition Herut Party until 1977, when he became prime minister. In 1978 he signed a treaty with Egypt (the largest Arab country) which returned the Sinai to Egypt in return for peace. Begin also wrote two books, White Nights, about imprisonment in Russia, and The Revolt, the story of the Irgun.

1913 October 28, MENDEL BEILIS

After two years in prison Beilis was acquitted of all charges.


Biologist and epidemiologist, he created the Salk poliomyelitis vaccine (1955). His work, together with that of Albert Sabin who later developed an oral vaccine, drove this paralyzing disease from much of the world. In recognition, he received a Presidential Citation and the Congressional Medal for Distinguished Achievement.


A Socialist and Russian Jewish immigrant, was elected to the Congress from the 12th district in New York.

1914 - 1943 FRUMKA PLOTNICZKI (Płotnicka) (Poland)

Was the first person to bring concrete proof of German mass executions in the east .She was active in the Jewish Fighting Organization (Z.O.B.), and died fighting during the liquidation of the Bedzin ghetto on August 1, 1943.

1914 - 1944 November 20, HAVIVA REIK (Slovakia-Eretz Israel)

One of the four volunteers who parachuted into Slovakia to help the uprising against the Nazis. Reik was born in a Slovakia and made aliyah in 1939 where she joing kibbutz Ma'anit. She volunteered for the Palmach and when it was formed the parachutist unit. Despite British refusal to send her on the mission she succeeded in reaching Banska Bystresis in September 1944 where she helped Jewish refugees. When it fell, they moved into the mountains with other Jewish partisans. She was captured and later executed by the Nazis on November 20, 1944. Kibbutz Lahavot Haviva and the Givat Haviva venter are dedicated to her memory.


And his brother-in-law, Samuel Goldfish (Goldwyn), established the first motion picture corporation in Hollywood.


Vetoed the anti-immigration bill. This bill, part of the growing anti-immigration feelings in the country, had been brought up as far back as 1882. In 1897 President Cleveland vetoed it, as did Taft in 1913. Each time it was sustained by a narrower margin until 1917 when the bill finally passed despite Wilson's veto. There were decided anti-Jewish insinuations in much of the lobbying.


During the entire war, Yiddish was declared an illegal language, and wounded veterans were immediately shipped back to the Pale. Although around 500,000 Jews served in the army, they were branded by the government as cowards, traitors and spies.


A former rabbinical student, he formed and became the first president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America.


Carried the offensive into Eastern Prussia and Austrian Galicia. Jews were caught between both armies. Russia repeatedly attacked the Austrian army and although they could not proceed they managed to hold on to Galicia until 1917, The Austrians were forced into setting up refugee camps in Austria and Hungary.

1914 August 1, (Av 9) OUTBREAK OF WWI

In all, out of the 65,000,000 men who fought in WW I, 1,500,000 were Jews. The USA had 250,000 Jewish troops, 10,000 of them officers. Britain 10,000 with 1,300 officers (with a Jewish pop. of less than 300,000). France 55,000 including 14 Jewish generals. Germany with a Jewish population of 600,000 had 100,000 Jewish soldiers with 2,000 officers. 35,000 German Jews won medals including 2,000 pilots, among them Jacob Wolf the oldest German pilot (48). Austria - Hungary had 320,000 including 8 generals. Russia had approximately 500,000 Jews serving. Jewish dead were estimated at 120,000.


Was established by Jacob H. Schiff, Louis Marshall, and Felix Warburg. It soon combined (November 27) with the Central Relief Committee founded by Orthodox leaders and the People's Relief Committee representing labor into one organization - the American Joint Distribution Committee. It campaigned and distributed funds wherever Jews were in need, especially in Eastern Europe. It is popularly known as the "Joint" or "JDC." During the First World War they spent almost $15,000,000 on relief efforts.

1915 KU KLUX KLAN (Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Was organized by William J. Simmons with a white Protestant American membership. During its heyday it delved into politics, organized boycotts and committed acts of violence against Jews, Blacks, Catholics, and anyone foreign born.

1915 - 2005 ISRAEL EPSTEIN (Warsaw - Beijing)

Author, journalist and ardent communist. He served as editor of the news magazine China Today, and translated the sayings and writings of Mao and Deng Xiaoping. Epstein spent five years in prison during the cultural revolution for allegedly plotting against Zhou Enlai. He continued to be a strong supporter of Chinese communism, and in 1973 was restored to his former positions with an apology.

1915 - 2014 SIDNEY SHAPIRO aka Sha Boli (Brooklyn, New York- Beijing)

Author and translator. He arrived in china under the auspices of the U.S. military during WWII . He was one of the few Westerners to gain Chinese citizenship and become a member of the PCC a political advisory body. Among his works is a translation of a the 16th century Chinese classic Outlaws of the Marsh as well author of Jews in Old China, and his autobiography I Chose China.

1915 February 18, FRANK ALEXANDER DE PASS (England)

Became the first Jew and the first officer of the Indian Army to be awarded the Victoria Cross. De Pass who was of Sephardic decent served as a lieutenant in the Indian Army. On November 24, 1914 he had rescued a wounded man while under heavy fire. He died in action the next day.

1915 March, GRAND DUKE SERGEI (Russia)

The Russian Commander-in-Chief began to expel all the Jews in the Pale on the pretext that they could not be trusted with the advancing Germans. Kovna, Lithuania, and Kurland were most affected. Over 500,000 Jews were forcibly evacuated, sometimes on forced marches. Until the arrival of the Germans, who prevented any more expulsions, over 100,000 died of starvation, disease and exposure.

1915 March 22, ERETZ ISRAEL

The majority of the Palestine Refugees' Committee, under the encouragement of Joseph Trumpeldor and Vladimir Jabotinsky, endorsed a resolution calling for the formation of a "Jewish Legion", and proposed to England its utilization in Palestine. Within a few days about 500 enlisted.

1915 April, ERETZ ISRAEL - NILI (Hebrew initials for Netzah Israel Lo Yeshaker)

Was organized by Avshalom Feinberg and Aaron Aaronsohn to spy against the Turks for the British. Based in Zichron Yaakov and locally run by Aaronsohn's sister Sarah, they passed messages regarding Turkish troop maneuvers around the Haifa area. In 1917 the Turks broke the spy ring. Sarah was arrested October 1, and after being tortured for three days, managed to commit suicide. Most of the other members were captured and killed.

1915 April 17, THE ZION MULE CORPS

Left for Gallipoli from Egypt. Commanded by Colonel Henry Patterson and organized by Trumpeldor and Jabotinsky, they were a Jewish auxiliary unit of the British Army. The British were not interested in giving them the ability to fight, so they were assigned to provide provisions to the front lines. Although later that same year they were forced to retreat in the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, they performed with distinction and later became the nucleus for the Jewish Legion (1917).

1915 April 28, THE KUZHI INCIDENT (Lithuania)

A number of German soldiers on a reconnaissance mission entered the small village of Kuzhi for provisions and left. Soon after, the Russians returned and the Germans shelled the village. The Russian high command accused the Jews of giving information to the Russians, and despite the fact that the Kerensky commission found the accusation to be libelous, it was used as an excuse to begin the expulsion of 200,000 Jews most from the Kovno region.

1915 May 7, LUSITANIA

An American ship was sunk by the Germans. This act eventually brought America into World War I. Roughly 250,000 Jews served in the U.S. Armed Forces, with an estimated 3,500 dead, and 12,000 wounded.

1915 May 20, - 1981 MOSHE DAYAN (Eretz Israel)

Was born in Kibbutz Degania. As a teenager he joined the Haganah. He lost an eye in an attack on Lebanon with an Australian Division. He rose in the ranks of the Israeli army, becoming Minister of Defense in 1967. He resigned after the Yom Kippur War because he was criticized for Israel's lack of preparedness. In 1977 he joined the Begin government.

1915 June 10, - 1992 SAUL BELLOW (Canada-USA)

Novelist and Nobel laureate. In 1965, Mr. Bellow was awarded the International Literary Prize for Herzog, becoming the first American to receive the prize. His book, Humbolt’s Gift won the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 and Bellow was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976. Many of Bellow’s novels have Jewish themes to them, among them, The Victim, Adventures of Augie March, and To Jerusalem and Back. He also edited Great Jewish Short Stories.

1915 July 5, RUSSIA

Hebrew and Yiddish publications were banned.

1915 August 17, LEO FRANK (USA)

A southern Jew falsely accused of murdering 14-year-old Mary Phagen was taken out of prison and hung by a lynch mob. A few months earlier, his death sentence had been commuted to life in prison by Governor John Slaton, who believed that Frank had not had a fair trial. In 1925, Jim Conlay, a negro who had been his accuser in court, was found guilty of her murder and of perjury.(see 1913)

1915 October 17, - 2005 ARTHUR MILLER (USA)

A playwright. His great plays include Death of a Salesman, A View from the Bridge, Incident at Vichy and The Crucible (which was an attack on McCarthyism). He was also accused of being a communist and was cited for contempt during the McCarthy era.

1915 October 22, - 2012 YITZHAK SHAMIR (Poland-Israel)

Underground leader and politician. Upon immigrating to Israel, he joined the Irgun but with its split moved over to Avraham Stern's Lehi. Following Stern's murder by the British, Shamir became one of the three pillars running the Lehi organization along with Nathan Yellin-Mor and Dr. Israel Eldad (Scheib). After a number of years in the Mossad, he went into business and then politics becoming prime minister in 1983.


Reached an agreement with Sharif Hussein ibn Ali of the Hashemi family, trading a revolt against Turkey for Arab independence everywhere except Eretz Israel. This agreement, which directly contradicted the Sykes-Picot Treaty, was like the Balfour Declaration: vague and ambiguous.

1915 December, GERMANY

Under General Ludendorff, reconquered most of Poland. The Jews in the occupied territory were generally fairly treated.

1915 December, YAVNEH GYMNASIUM (Kovno)

Was founded by Dr. Joseph Carlebach with the support of the German occupation forces. It included both a girls and boys school. Within 3 years had more than 250 students and by 1930 the Yavneh system had almost 100 schools and seminaries throughout Lithuania. All the schools were closed in 1940, when the Russians occupied the country. Carelbach (b.1883) was murdered with his wife and younger children in 1942.

1916 BISHOP OF NANCY (France)

Suggested that belief in Dreyfus' innocence was equivalent to apostasy.


Jews were accused of evading active service despite the fact that approximately 100,000 Jews served in the German army, 12% higher then their population ratio.


Under Brusilov, returned to its offensive along the Polish and Galician borders. The Jews in those areas were accused of siding with the Germans.


A composer, he arrived in the United States and conducted a concert the following year in Carnegie Hall.

1916 April 22, - 1999 YEHUDI MENUHIN (New York,USA)

A prodigal violinist, he is considered one of the worlds best of the 20th century. His first performance, when he was just six years old, was in San Francisco where he was applauded by four thousand people.


France and Britain (with the agreement of Russia) divided up the Ottoman Empire. France was assured of Lebanon, Syria and Northern Iraq, and Britain was given control of Northern Arabia, Central Mesopotamia (Iraq), and much of the Western Persian Gulf. Russia also received some Armenian and Kurdish territory. Eretz Israel was divided, with France controlling the Galilee, Britain the Haifa area, and the rest of the country under international control.


Turkish Syrian military Governor Ahmed Djemal Pasha (1872-1922), decided to ban Jews from praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem eventually cordoning off the area. Nine months later he offered to retract his ban upon payment of 100,000 Francs. He was later accused of helping oversee the Armenian genocide and was finally assassinated by Armenians while working for the Soviets in Tbilisi.

1917 CRACOW (Poland)

Sarah Schneier, a former seamstress, educational advocate and daughter of a Belzer Hassid, established the first religious girls' school, calling it Bais Yaakov (House of Jacob). By 1937 there were two hundred and fifty Beis Yaacov schools with thirty-eight thousand students.


Was established. Tarbut, strongly Zionist in its outlook, served as both a cultural and educational organization with hundreds of schools all over eastern Europe. Classes were taught in Hebrew.


Broke out in Petrograd. After three years of ruinous war the old regime collapsed. By March, a provisional government under Alexander Kerensky was set up. During the ensuing revolution the Jews were caught in the middle. Much of the conflict centered around the south and west, where over 3 million Jews lived. It is estimated that over 2000 pogroms took place, especially in the Ukraine, leading to the death of 100,000-200,000 Jews within the next 3 years.

1917 February 3, IRAQ

British troops occupied Baghdad. After suffering heavily from forced conscription, torture and extortion by the Turkish ruled government, local Jews celebrated their freedom by declaring it a holiday (Yom Ness). Their freedom lasted until 1929, when the British granted independence to Iraq and all Zionist activity was prohibited.


The next day the Pale of Settlement was abolished.

1917 March 17, RUSSIA

The provisional government abolishes all restrictions against the Jews.

1917 March 26, PRINCE G.E. LVOV (Russia)

The first Prime Minister (and minister of the Interior) in the provisional government, sent a message to the Alliance Israelite Universelle promising that Russia would respect the beliefs and varied natures of its people. On that same day in Petrograd, a conference of Russian Jews was held which tried to find common ground in post-czarist Russia.

1917 March 28, TEL AVIV-JAFFA (Eretz Israel)

As the war front came closer, the Turkish Governor of Jaffa ordered all Jews to leave the city, including Tel Aviv.

1917 April 6, UNITED STATES

Declared war on Germany. Approximately 250,000 Jewish soldiers (20% of whom were volunteers) served in the U.S. army. Roughly 5.7% of the solders were Jewish, though Jews made up only 3.25% of the general population.


Was established to provide for the social and religious requirements of Jewish soldiers. After the war, it expanded to care for community needs, initiating Jewish Community Centers, and Young Men's and Women's Hebrew Associations.

1917 June 10, UNITED STATES

Three hundred and thirty-five thousand people chose representatives for the first American Jewish Congress.


Was presented with an updated Blackstone memorial petition (see 1891) by Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Stephen Wise. They hoped he would endorse American Zionism and the soon to be presented British Balfour Declaration. The Memorial, though presented only privately, was very effective in gaining his support.

1917 July 22, KERENSKY

The Jewish former Minister of War became the premier of Russia. After the Czar abdicated, he took over the Russian government and formed a liberal provisional government, which lasted four months. Although well intentioned, he was not a strong leader and couldn't negotiate between the subversive forces on the right and left.

1917 August 23, EDWIN SAMUEL MONTAGU (Britain)

A member of the British cabinet, while discussing the idea of what was to be known as the Balfour Declaration stated," Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen…" Montague (1879-1924) was the second Jew to serve in a British Cabinet. A strong anti- Zionist, he told Prime Minister Lloyd George. "All my life I have been trying to get out of the ghetto. You want to force me back there". He was also responsible for changing part of the declaration.


Long championed by Jabotinsky and based on the Zion Mule Corps. The 38th Battalion was commanded by Colonel Henry Patterson. A second battalion (the 39th) commanded by Colonel Eleazar Margolin was also formed. Although at first against the idea, most of the leadership of the Yishuv, including Ben Gurion and Ben Zvi, joined after the Balfour Declaration. Over 2,700 men volunteered for the Legion. Many of them saw action in Transjordan in the fall of 1918.

1917 October 12, JEWISH ANTI –ZIONISTS ( Britain)

Consisting of Claude Montifiore, Leonard L. Cohen and Phillip Magnus, wrote a memorandum to Sir Maurice Hankey, Secretary of the War Cabinet. They were coached and encouraged by Edwin Samuel Montagu the Secretary of State for India and a well known anti-Zionist. They advised deleting any mention of a national home for the Jewish people.

1917 November 2, ARTHUR BALFOUR

British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, he sent Lord Walter Rothschild a letter declaring the British government's sympathy and support for the Zionist cause. Cloaked in ambiguity, the meaning of the declaration was to be long debated; the Arabs insisted on an independent Arab state in Syria and Eretz Israel, the French on keeping to the Sykes-Picot Treaty. In spite of this, Britain felt that a Jewish state would: 1) provide a base between India and the Suez, 2) promote Jewish financial support in America for the British war effort , 3) create British support by the Jews in the Central Powers and 4) convince Russian Jews to keep fighting in the war

1917 November 7, RUSSIA

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and Leon Trotsky ousted Kerensky and took over the government.

1917 December 6, FINLAND

Became independent of Moscow and finally granted Jews civil rights. The implementation of the original law, passed in 1909, was delayed by the Russian government.

1917 December 11, GENERAL ALLENBY ENTERED JERUSALEM (Eretz Israel)

General Allenby, head of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (of the British army) entered Jerusalem, forcing the Turks to retreat. Allenby, while "understanding" the aspirations of Zionism, had strong reservations regarding the British policy of establishing a Jewish national homeland.


With the Central Powers. 350,000 Jews served in the Russian army and an estimated 70,000 of them were killed during the war.


Jewish population reached fifty-six thousand.


Gained independence.

1918 - 1935 RUSSIA

eighteen million copies.

1918 - 1943 TOSIA (TAUBE) ALTMANN (Poland)

A renowned courier of information and weapons. The couriers were known as kashariyot and constantly risked their lives. She became a leader in the Jewish underground and helped in organizing the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Tosia was one of the few survivors of the battle at Mila 18 on May 8th, and joined with others outside the ghetto to continue their fight. She escaped capture a number of times but was badly burned in a fire and arrested by the Gestapo. She died soon after, making her one of the last members of the Warsaw ghetto uprising to die.

1918 - 1988 ABBA KOVNER (Lithuania-Eretz Israel)

Resistance leader and poet. Kovner organized the United Partisan Movement in 1941, maintaining that Jews should not "go like sheep to the slaughter". He fought as a partisan leader until the end of the war. After liberation he was instrumental in establishing Beriha, which smuggled survivors to Eretz Israel and carried out revenge operations against Nazis and their collaborators. In Israel he joined a kibbutz and became a well known poet. He won the Israel prize for literature in 1970. Kovner helped establish the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv and the Moreshet Holocaust Institute.


Was founded with Thomas Masaryk as its first president and Eduard Benes as Secretary of Foreign Affairs. At first the Jews had trouble, but it soon resolved itself. Both of these men did their best to defend the Jews.

1918 March 3, BREST-LITOVSK TREATY (Russia-Germany)

Signed between Russia and Germany, formally took Russia out of World War I. Russia had an interest in seceding from the war, and the price she paid was to relinquish control of the Ukrainian "bread basket" to Germany. The removal of the Russian influence in the Ukraine gave rise to nationalistic aspirations. The following year, while Simon Petlyura was commander of the army and national leader, mass anti-Jewish riots and violence broke out throughout the Ukraine.

1918 March 23, 23 SHERIF HUSSEIN IBN ALI

In his newspaper al -Qibla wrote " Palestine… is a sacred and beloved homeland ..(of) its original sons ( abna'ihil -l-asiyim)-the Jews". Hussein ibn Ali ( 1853-1931) was a Hashemite Arab leader who was the Sharif and Emir of Mecca. He considered himself the caliph of all Muslims. His son Abdullah became ruler of Transjordan, and Feisal ruler of Iraq. Only in January 1921 partially in reaction to British support for ibn Saud, did he come out against the agreement.

1918 April 1, CHAIM WEIZMANN

Arrived in Eretz Israel to assist the British Mandate. Weizmann headed the Zionist commission (Vaad HaTzirim) that was mandated by the British Government to be the liaison between the Military administration and the Yishuv. It was also empowered to coordinate relief efforts and make recommendations regarding the future development of the country


Under General Foch they began a counter-offensive against Germany.

1918 August 25, - 1990 LEONARD BERNSTEIN (USA)

Composer and conductor. Bernstein was the first American-born musician to conduct the New York Philharmonic. Although he composed a number of symphonies (many with Jewish themes), he is most remembered for the musical, West Side Story. Bernstein was also a gifted teacher and created "Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts" which were broadcast on television to rave reviews and popularity.

1918 September 5, PRESIDENT WILSON

On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, publicly announced his support for the Balfour declaration. He had already agreed to the idea the previous October both in meetings with Louis Brandies and Stephen Wise, and in cables to the British government. However, due to pressure by Secretary of state Robert Lansing and non-Zionists like Henry Morgenthau, he had refused to make it public.

1918 September 19, ERETZ ISRAEL

The beginning of the last major offensive against the Turks. Within 11 days all of the area from north of Jerusalem until Damascus, including Transjordan, was overrun by the British. Both the Jewish Brigades (38th and 39th) played an active role in the offensive.

1918 September 22, JEWISH LEGION

Defeated a Turkish army at Umm Esh-shert Ford.

1918 October 8, HABIMAH THEATER (Russia-Eretz Israel)

Was founded by Nahum Zemach. Based on the methods of the famous Russian theater director Konstantin Stanislavski, the Habimah Theater opened in Moscow. The production of Anski's The Dybbuk, with the help of actor Menahem Gnessin and the actress Hannah Rovina, brought it fame. One of the staunchest friends of the theater group was Maxim Gorky. In 1931 the company moved to Eretz Israel, where they eventually became the National Theater.

1918 November 20, - 1920 UKRAINIAN POGROMS

After the fall of the Czar there was a strong movement to establish an independent political entity. The Jewish parties voted against the severance, with Russia leading to direct attacks on the Jews. One of the first attacks was in Lvov where 72 Jews were killed and 443 wounded.

1918 December, LEAGUE OF NATIONS

Was established in an effort to prevent further wars. The League of Nations was instrumental in giving international backing for the "British Mandate" in Palestine and the Balfour Declaration. After the 29 Arab riots in 1929, the League criticized the British government for not doing enough to prevent or suppress the Arabs, and called into question the effectiveness of the Mandate.


Anton Drexler, Dietrich Eckhard and Karl Herrer founded the German Workers Party, which became the Nazi or National Socialist Party.


Was founded in New York. It was composed of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform representatives. Cases were tried in which both parties agreed to abide by the decision of the court. There were no extensive legal technicalities and a common ground was found between litigants.

1919 KURT EISNER (Germany)

A communist Jew who headed the Bavarian government was assassinated.


At a Mizrachi convention, it was decided to build the Tachkemoni Rabbinical Seminary, setting aside 20 of the 48 hours per week for secular subjects. This became a precursor for modern religious education. Among the supervisors were Rabbi Moses Soloveichik and Dr. Moses Adler.

1919 - 1933 WEIMAR REPUBLIC (Germany)

Provided Jews with full equality yet ironically it gave birth to the greatest catastrophe to the Jews since the destruction of the Second Temple. The republic was divided by communists, national socialists, and monarchists all pulling in different directions. The runaway inflation, the defeat of Germany in World War I, and unemployment were all blamed on the Jews. During the republic over 430 anti-Semitic associations and societies were founded, as well as hundreds (700) of anti-Semitic newspapers, magazines and periodicals. By the end of 1920 the Protocols of the Elders of Zion had sold over 120,000 copies.

1919 FRITZ HABER (Germany)

A chemist, he received the Nobel Prize for developing ammonia. Haber(1868-1834) is less graciously remembered as the "Father of Poison Gas".

1919 HUGO PREUSS (d. 1925) (Germany)

Professor of law and leader of the Berlin Jewish community, he became Minister of the Interior and drafted the Weimar Constitution.

1919 - 1943 May 8, MORDECHAI ANIELEWICZ (Poland)

Commander of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. In 1941, with the beginning of the "Final Solution", he called for the establishment of an armed Jewish underground. He tried unsuccessfully to unite all the various factions in the anti-Fascist block, but was more successful in building the Jewish Fighting Organization in Warsaw. Anielewicz published a newsletter (Against the Stream) and even started an urban kibbutz. On May 8, 1943, during the final revolt and after almost 3 weeks of fighting, he was killed in the main bunker at 18 Mila street.

1919 - 1987 PRIMO LEVI (Italy)

During the war Levi joined the partisans, but was captured and deported to Auschwitz. After the war he began to write about his experience, becoming a leading figure in 20th century literature. His works include If This is a Man, The Truce, and If Not Now, When?. Levi was a detached but passionate writer who constantly warned that only alertness can prevent a repeat of the Holocaust. Levi committed suicide in 1987.


Was signed between Chayim Weizmann and Emir Faisal ( 1885-1933). The agreement included a call to " work together to encourage immigration of Jews… while protecting the rights of the Arab peasants … agreed borders... and a commitment to carry into effect the Balfour Declaration of 1917, calling for a Jewish national home in Palestine." An addendum was attached by Faisel " Provided the Arabs obtain their independence But if the slightest modification …shall be made, I shall not be then bound by a single word of the present Agreement'. Unfortunately the British and the French went back on their word having signed the then secret Sykes–Picot Agreement dividing the Middle East between themselves, thus paving the way for the ongoing conflict.

1919 January 3, SIMON PETLURA (Ukraine)

Ukrainian nationalist and commander (Ataman) of the Zaporog Cossacks and Haidamaks armies, began his retreat from the Red Army. At the same time he accused the Jews of being supporters of the communist regime and encouraged a series of pogroms. Attacks began on a number of cities and towns including Berdichev, Uma, and Zhitomir. Although he denied responsibility for the "excesses" of his troops, three hundred seventy-two cities and towns were attacked in 998 major and 349 minor pogroms resulting in about seventy thousand killed and an equal number wounded. He was later assassinated in revenge (see 1926).

1919 January 7, SEMANA TRAGICA / WEEK OF TRAGEDY ( Argentina)

After a general strike, the police and army were called in. The wealthy class, many of whom belonged to the white guard (Guardia Blanca) , blamed Jews, especially recent Jewish Russian immigrants, for the unrest. A pogrom ensued leaving many dead and wounded.

1919 January 8, HUNGARY

Bela Kun (Kuhn), a communist dictator, was disposed of after a short period of time with the help of Romania and Admiral Nicholas Horthy. Since Kun was a Jew, all the Jews were accused of being communists. During the riots that followed, known as the "White Terror", well over three thousand Jews were killed.

1919 January 12, PARIS PEACE CONFERENCE (France)

Was convened. The American Jewish Congress was represented by Louis Marshall (President of the American Jewish Committee), Rabbi Stephen Wise and Judge Julian Mack, President of the Congress. In France they joined with other world Jewish organizations to form the Comite des Delegation Juives with Julian Mack and then Louis Marshal as chairmen. Dr. Leo Motzkin, Zionist and publicist, was appointed secretary. They succeeded in passing a plan ensuring the right for minorities to establish their own schools and speak their own languages, while retaining full citizenship.

1919 January 26, POLISH ELECTIONS

Although the Jews won about 10% of the vote they were only allowed to elect 4% of the representatives due to the electoral system.

1919 February 8, HAYYIM ELAZAR SHAPIRO/ Munckazer Rebbe (Hungary)

Wrote a public letter exhorting rabbis against Agudat Israel and especially the Zionist movement even if "all the nations agree, God forbid, she (Jews) will not go there. He continued his uncompromising stance all of his life. A book of his writings Tikun Olam "Improving the World", was composed in 1936 in the same vein. Shapiro (1868-1937 was also against modern medicine and science, reproving anyone who would study architecture or engineering.

1919 March, POLAND

An anti-Jewish boycott became a serious threat. Cooperatives were created to undersell Jews and numerous laws were passed to force Jews out of business and the legal and medical professions.

1919 March 3, EMIR FAISAL

Wrote a letter to Felix Frankfurter expressing his support for the Zionist cause. "We Arabs...look with deepest sympathy on the Zionist Movement....We will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome."

1919 April, - June, HALLER'S BLUE ARMY (Poland)

Conquered eastern Galicia, attacking Jewish towns and individuals along the way. The army had been organized the last year of the war and was under the leadership of General Jozef Haller, with the backing of the Polish nationalist anti-Semite, Roman Dmowski.

1919 April 5, PINSK (Poland)

35 well-known Jews were executed. They were taken from a legitimate business meeting of the Jewish Cooperative and accused of being Jewish Bolshevists. Others also arrested were told to dig their own graves and then released.


Was held with 15,000 people in attendance to protest Polish government inaction. In order to deflect the harsh criticism, Prime Minister Ignace Paderewski invited President Wilson to send a commission of inquiry.

1919 June 10, COMITE DES DELEGATIONS JUIVES (Committee of Jewish Delegations) (France)

Submitted a proposal to the Paris Peace Conference requesting them to include in all treaties a provision for guaranteeing minority rights. The committee which didn't include the French and British delegations (who considered it too nationalistic), included dozens of Jewish organizations world wide and represented about12 million Jews. Among its resolutions were also that countries would be held responsible for pogroms committed on their soil, and another supporting the rights of the Jewish people to Eretz- Israel. The Committee dispersed in 1936 when it was replaced by the World Jewish Congress.

1919 June 28, TREATY OF VERSAILLES (France)

World War I ended with an Allied victory. Out of the estimated 1,506,000 Jewish soldiers in all the armies, approximately 170,000 were killed and over 100,000 cited for valor. In Germany alone over 100,000 Jews served with 12,000 killed. England saw 50,000 Jews serving with 10,000 causalities and 1,596 decorated for valor.

1919 August, GENERAL DENIKIN (Russia)

Commander of the White Russian Army and supported by the United States, he attempted to overthrow the Bolsheviks. He temporarily succeeded in stopping both Petlura and the Bolsheviks. Like Petlura, he identified the Jews with communism and proceeded to carry out his own pogroms, allowing his troops to perpetrate over 213 pogroms, and killing upwards of five thousand Jews.

1919 August 1, HUNGARY

Limited the number of Jews in commerce, law, medicine and banking. The new definition of a Jew was someone who converted after August 1, 1919. An estimated 5,000 Jews converted to Christianity during the weeks before the law went into effect.

1919 August 30, RUSSIA

The Jewish Commissariat Yevsektsiya proclaims Hebrew a "reactionary language". As such, the teaching of Hebrew was prohibited in all educational institutions and books in Hebrew were removed from libraries.


Thirty five members of the Jewish Defense Organization were disarmed and shot after the Ukrainian National Army recaptured Kiev from the Bolsheviks. As an organized unit, the Jews had played an important role in the defense of Kiev.

1919 September 23, LORD GEORGE NATHANIAL CURZON ( London)

Meeting with Feisal, he showed him the correspondence between his father Hussein and the British government, emphatically explaining that Palestine was excluded from any agreement In November, Hussein acknowledged that neither he nor his successors, would have any claims over the land. This, despite pressure from Palestinian activists, who insisted that it was part of Syria. Lord Curzon (1851-1925) served as a member of the inner cabinet in WWI and later as foreign secretary ,and despite the above was decidedly anti-Zionist.

1919 October 11, RIOTS ( Przemysl, Poland)

Broke out and the Jewish militia was disbanded after a rumor spread that Jews were machine gunning Poles. Rumors, no matter how absurd, served as a catalyst for a pogrom.

1919 December 18, THIRD ALIYAH (Eretz Israel)

The SS Ruslam reached Jaffa from Odessa with 671 people aboard. The ship was loaded with doctors, artists, and academics and had been called Israel's Mayflower. It arrived during the period of what is known as the third Aliyah, which lasted four years. Approximately 50% of the 35,000 immigrants were from Russia and 35% from Poland. The idealism of the third aliyah helped establish the Kibbutz movement, the Histadrut and the Labor Battalions "Gedudei Avodah". The third Aliyah ended as a major economic crisis developed creating unemployment and emigration.

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