When “Der Fuhrverts” Became A Weapon for Female Dignity

August 27th, 2017 § 0 comments

Yes, newspapers are in decline. News is coming via the internet. The newsprint paper may soon be a memory. New York’s Village Voice has ended its print edition. Sad. It had a wonderful history of investigative journalism and support of avant garde arts. HG often gave information to Jack Newfield, one of the paper’s star writers, about the destruction of neighborhoods by real estate developers. (Now a real estate developer is trying to destroy American democracy). Its classified ad section was the go to place for rental apartments. When BSK arrived in New York in February of 1963, BSK read the Voice and found an apartment to share in Greenwich Village with a young Frenchwoman. BSK’s share of the rent: $75 a month. HG always loved newspapers. Growing up, HG relished New York’s seven daily newspapers. Four morning papers: Times, Herald-Tribune, News, Mirror. Three afternoons: Post, Journal-American, World Telegram & Sun. (For a brief period, New York also had another daily, PM. Later renamed The Compass). There were also many foreign language newspapers besides the specialized Journal of Commerce and The Racing Form. The Yiddish press flourished. There were three dailies: The Jewish Daily Forward, with the largest circulation, was a socialist newspaper edited by the remarkable Abraham Cahan. It was the favorite of HG’s late Mother and Father. They always referred to the newspaper as “der Fuhrverts”. The other Yiddish dailies were Der Tag-Morning Journal, slightly conservative and edited for more affluent Jews. Freiheit was communist. Greatly aided the communist-led Fur and Leather Workers Union. Ben Gold. was the union’s fiery leader. HG’s Father abhorred communism but enjoyed the ferocious, madly passionate oratory of Ben Gold. A family legend involved “der Fuhrverts.” HG’s Mom was seated in the Jerome Avenue El on the way to 170th Street. She was reading “der Fuhverts”. She glanced upwards. A shocking sight: A man stood before her displaying his penis. Ida Kopkind Freeman rolled up the paper and gave the offensive male appendage a good whack. She yelled: “Go away,slob!!!. He did. Ran to an exit. A triumph for a newspaper and feminine dignity.

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