Category Archives: Urban Legends

Not One Jew Was Killed in the 9-11 Attacks, and the WTC Is Full of Jewish Workers

“Not one Jew was killed in the 9-11 attacks, and the World Trade Center is full of Jewish worker.”

So goes a popular theory/rumor that began going around the Arab and Muslim World soon after the attacks. Although many were understandably dubious of this charge, we lacked hard evidence to refute it until recently.

The argument continues that 4,000 Jewish workers who worked in the towers stayed home from work that day, presumably because they had been warned by the Israelis that the WTC would be attacked. But the argument would have to be that these 4,000 Jewish workers were not only warned ahead of time by the Israelis, but they also neglected to tell even one single person of this warning and furthermore, they did not warn any non-Jews or the plot nor did they inform authorities. This seems highly dubious to say the least. 

The argument was compelling though. Downtown New York is full of Jews. Obviously the WTC must have had many Jewish workers at work that day. How could only one Jew die in the attack? Surely there is something suspicious about that.

Both of these theories, the thousands of Jews being forewarned and only one Jew dying are based on the theory that the 9-11 attack was actually carried out by the Israelis or that the Israelis were involved in it somehow. Israeli involvement in the plot remains to be proven, though hazy Israeli foreknowledge that something suspicious was afoot seems to be a reasonable conclusion.

The problem with this theory is that it is apparently based on lies.

There is no evidence that even one Jew who worked in the towers was warned to stay home that day, nor did any Jew, or any other WTC worker, stay home from work that day due to a forewarning.

I estimate that 10-15% of the victims of 9-11 were Jews.

It is true that only one Israeli died, but why is this so important? The argument would have to be that the Israelis saved their own Israeli Jews from the attack but left hundreds of Diaspora Jews to die. This sounds highly improbable to say the least. At any rate, one wonders just how many Israelis worked in the WTC on any given day? The number could not have been large.

At a bookstore, reading a magazine, I once saw a list of all 3,000+ victims of the 9-11 attacks. On a whim, I decided to test out the “no Jews died in the 9-11 attacks” theory. I started counting the obviously Jewish names on the list to see if there was anything to the rumor. I quit when I got to 300-400 and threw down the magazine in disgust.

 

We now have lists of some of the Jews who died in the attacks, including this list of these 76 Jews who died, for whom we have names and brief biographies. 

Here is a list of 77 Jews who died in the 911 attack (a partial list of ~350+ Jews who apparently died in the attacks):

Lee Alan Adler, 48, was a computer designer at Cantor Fitzgerald. Mr. Adler was a member of the board of trustees of Temple Beth Ahm in Springfield, New Jersey, where memorial services were held for him. He was married to his wife. Alice, for 15 years and had a 12-year old daughter. His daughter wrote in a February 22, 2002 message on an internet memorial site, “Daddy I love you!”

Joshua Aron, 29, was an equities trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. Joshua’s father, Barry Aron, says, “Not a minute goes by in a day that I don’t think about Josh. … It’s like part of you being ripped out and you can’t replace it.” Barry talks to his son’s widow, Rachel daily. Mr. Aron and Rachel would have celebrated their first wedding anniversary on September 16, 2001. Memorial services were held at the Oceanside Jewish Center in Oceanside, New York.

Michael Edward Asher, 53, was vice president and senior technology architect at Cantor Fitzgerald. On September 10, 2001, he talked with his son Jeremy, 18, about rebuilding an old Jaguar automobile. Mr. Asher was also survived by his wife Dana and a daughter, Rachel, 16. A memorial service was held for him at the Monroe Temple of Liberal Judaism in Monroe, New York.

Debbie S. Bellows, 30, was an executive assistant at Cantor Fitzgerald. She was survived by her husband Sean, who wrote, “Debbie meant the world to me. … My heart will always be filled with the love and beauty that filled her soul.” A memorial service was held for Ms. Bellows at the Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, New York.

Alvin Bergsohn, 48, was an equities trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. From a picture posted on the Internet, it appears that he was survived by a wife and two sons. A service was held for him at the South Baldwin Jewish Center in Baldwin Harbor, New York.

Shimmy D. Biegeleisen, 42, was vice president of Fiduciary Trust International. Susan Townsend, who interviewed for a job at Mr. Biegeleisen’s company, described him “a genuinely kind and gentle soul, a man of true integrity.” A friend, Joseph Weinberger, said he was “a person with a golden heart, loved everybody, always with a smile.” Another described him as “a perfect mix of God-fearing, friendly, and fun.” Tony Skutnik said he was “a kind and gentle man, generous and forgiving almost to a fault.” He was survived by a wife and five children.

Joshua David Birnbaum, 24, was an assistant bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. His best friend, Leehe Matalon, wrote, “Josh’s smile always managed to light up the faces of those he surrounded himself with. He had a special charm ….” He was survived by his parents, Sam and Marcel, and a sister, Jill. A memorial service was held for him at the Sephardic Congregation of Long Beach in Long Beach, New York.

Kevin Sanford Cohen, 28, was a computer support person for Cantor Fitzgerald. He was survived by his parents, Barry and Marcia, and a brother Neil. His mother said that when she had asked him why he didn’t slow down, he replied, “Mom, I believe in living life to the fullest.” A memorial service was held for him at Neve Shalom in Metuchen, New Jersey.

Michael Allen Davidson, 27, was an equity options trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. A co-worker named Jay wrote, “He could have been the nicest, most sensitive person I have ever met. Everyone loves him.” He was engaged to be married the following July to Dominique DeNardo. Mr. Davidson was survived by his mother Ellen. A memorial service was held for him at Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains, New Jersey.

Peter Feidelberg, 34, worked for Aon corporation. Mr. Feidelberg was from Montreal, Canada, and worked at Aon with his wife, Meredith Ewart, whom he had married in March 2000. According to the Canadian Jewish News, Mr. Feidelberg attended Jewish Peoples School, ran in the 1998 New York Marathon, enjoyed rugby, mountain biking, skiing and scuba diving, and had backpacked through Europe, Costa Rica, Turkey and other countries.

Steven Mark Fogel, 40, was vice president and assistant general counsel for Cantor Fitzgerald. He was survived by his wife Kori, a son and a daughter. A memorial service was held for him at Temple Emanuel in Westfield, New York.

Morton H. Frank, 31, was an insurance equities broker at Cantor Fitzgerald. In college, he was a member of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi. A childhood friend said he had “a fun-loving spirit and a wonderful heart.” He had married his wife Jessica 14 months before 9/11.

Arlene Eva Fried, 49, was vice president and assistant general counsel at Cantor Fitzgerald. She met her future husband Ken when she was 15 and he was 17. When the youngest of their three daughters entered kindergarten, Arlene went back to school to study law. Her parents, Nicholas and Ronnie Joseph, were both survivors of Nazi concentration camps; her mother had been at Auschwitz.

They wrote, in a October 13, 2003 internet tribute, “As Arlene Joseph Fried’s parents, the loss is indescribable; a daughter with indescribable warmth and love toward her whole family and friends — losing her left an unhealable wound in our hearts.” A memorial service was held for her at Temple Beth Shalom in Roslyn, New York.

Douglas B. Gardner, 39, was a vice chairman at Cantor Fitzgerald. He was survived by his wife, Jennifer, and two children. Memorial services were held at the Stephen Weiss Free Synagogue in New York City.

Steven Paul Geller, 52, was an institutional trader for Cantor Fitzgerald. Mr. Geller loved to cook with his daughter, Hali, 12. He was also survived by his wife, Debra. A memorial service was held for him at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City.

Marina Romanova Gertsberg, 25, was one of 16 Russian-speaking Jews who perished in the 9/11 attacks, according to World Congress of Russian Jewry. Her family had emigrated from Odessa, Ukraine to the United States when Marina was four so that her father would not have to serve with Soviet forces in Afghanistan. She joined Cantor Fitzgerald as a junior manager one week before September 11. A memorial service for her was held at the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Jeffrey Grant Goldflam, 48, was senior vice president and chief financial officer at Cantor Fitzgerald. Mr. Goldflam was survived by his wife Risa and two children. He was a track and soccer star in high school. Robert Kayton, a college acquaintance, remembered Mr. Goldflam as “easygoing, friendly, and helpful.” A memorial service was held for him at Temple Beth Tohar in Melville, New York.

Michelle Herman Goldstein, 31, worked as a broker for Aon Risk Services insurance company. She had married her husband, Edward Goldstein, exactly seven months before 9/11. After the first plane struck the North tower of the World Trade Center, she called her mother, a Hebrew teacher at the Tamarac Jewish Center in Florida, from the 96th floor of the South tower to reassure her that she was all right. Her mother described her as “full of life. She lights up a room when she smiles.”

Monica Goldstein, 25, was an accounts specialist at Cantor Fitzgerald. She spent long hours at her older sister’s house, caring for her two young nephews and visiting with her sister. Her father said, “Her smile and her laugh were infectious. … The loss has totally changed our lives. We’ll never be the same anymore. … She was a very, very special person.” Ms. Goldstein was engaged to be married in September 2002. A memorial service was held for her at the Congregation B’nai Israel in Bay Terrace, New York.

Steven Goldstein, 35, had started work for Cantor Fitzgerald two weeks before September 11. Working in his basement, he had started and developed an online trading system, which he sold to Cantor Fitzgerald. His wife said his motivation was to make a lot of money and retire so he could spend time with his family. She said he loved nothing more than spending time with his one-year old son Harris and three-year old daughter Hanna. Mr. Goldstein had been a member of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi when at the University of Michigan.

Marcia Hoffman, 52, was vice president and senior technical architect at Cantor Fitzgerald. A former child-welfare worker, she switched to a career in computers. She was survived by her husband, Jim, and her daughter, Lara. A memorial service was held for her at the Kane Street Synagogue in New York City.

Aaron Horwitz, 24, was a bond broker at Cantor Fitzgerald. He was described as a showman who loved entertaining people, someone who “seized souls, not letting go until he made them merry.” A memorial service was held for him at the Brotherhood Synagogue in New York City.

Daniel Ilkanayev, 36, was a senior programming analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald. Mr. Ilkanayev was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in the former Soviet Union. He was one 16 Russian-speaking Jews who perished in the 9/11 attacks, according to World Congress of Russian Jewry.

Brooke Alexandra Jackman, 23, had just started working as an assistant bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. On September 10, 2001, she had told her mother she was applying to Columbia University’s School of Social Work because “there is more to life than making money.” A crowd of 1,000 to 1,500 attended her memorial service at the Jewish Center in Oyster Bay, New York. She had volunteered a community soup kitchen and a thrift shop for cancer patients.

Aaron Jacobs, 27, was a vice president at Cantor Fitzgerald. He was making plans for a honeymoon, perhaps to Africa, with his bride-to-be, Jeannine McAteer. He had backpacked through Europe, taught English in Mexico, and climbed a volcano in Greece. His dream was to retire at an early age and travel. He also taught job skills to welfare recipients. A memorial service for him was held at Temple Emanuel in Newton, Massachusetts.

Steven A. Jacobson, 53, was a transmission engineer working on the 110th floor of World Trade Center’s north tower. His job was to keep the WPIX television station on the air, no matter what happened. After working the night shift at the television station, he opened the Town and Village synagogue where he worshiped. Mr. Jacobson was survived by his wife, Deborah, and two daughters, Rachel and Miriam.

Family was the most important thing to him; he called his mother every day. Colleagues say he called them on September 11, saying his room was filling with smoke but it was too hot to leave even though he was having trouble breathing.

Shari Ann Kandell, 27, was a support staffer at Cantor Fitzgerald. She loved the theater and was studying for a degree in English in the evenings. Her father said, “the overwhelming and outstanding quality that Shari showed all her life was her total selflessness.” Many at her memorial service at Temple Beth Rishon in Wyckoff, New Jersey spoke of her giving priority to the needs of others.

Andrew Keith Kates, 37, was a senior managing director of Cantor Fitzgerald. He was survived by his wife Emily Terry, two daughters, Hannah, 5, and Lucy, 3, and a son, Henry, 1. His wife said that although Mr. Kates was a serious bike rider, swimmer, and runner, having run the New York Marathon in three hours and 15 minutes, his family came first. Every Saturday morning, the children would crowd into bed with Mr. Kates and his wife. A memorial service for him was held at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City.

Peter Rodney Kellerman, 35, was a vice president and equities trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. He was survived by his wife Robi. Mr. Kellerman had a doctor’s appointment on the morning of September 11, but came to work when the appointment was rescheduled. Friend Jon Bott wrote how he misses Mr. Kellerman’s “infectious humor, your wonderful wit and how comfortable and easy you made people feel.” A memorial service was held for him at the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City.

Howard Kestenbaum, 56, was an executive vice president at Aon Corporation. His 24-year old daughter Lauren saw the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Mr. Kestenbaum, who was in the second tower hit, had evacuated his office on the 103rd floor and was at the 78th floor when his tower was struck. Witnesses say he was knocked unconscious by flying debris.

Mr. Kestenbaum was always joking and made others laugh. He was an active member of Congregation Beth Ann in Verona, New Jersey, visited the sick and old, and volunteered at a homeless shelter.

Mary Jo Kimelman, 34, had worked for Cantor Fitzgerald for 13 years. Friends and family say she was an extremely loyal, outgoing person who wrote poetry and enjoyed traveling. Her boyfriend, Thierry LeBras, said she had a special talent of listening to people she had just met, getting them to open up about their lives. A memorial service was held for her at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.

Glenn Davis Kirwin, 40, was a senior vice president at Cantor Fitzgerald. He was also an avid cyclist, runner, golfer, and skier, who would go on 80-kilometer bicycle rides. His wife, Joan, says he always found time to play with his sons, Miles, 10, and Troy, 7, even after long workdays. A memorial service was held for him at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, New York.

Alan Kleinberg, 39, was just days away from transferring to a different Cantor Fitzgerald office on September 11. He was survived by his wife, Mindy, a three-year old son, Sam, a seven-year old daughter, Lauren, and a nine-year old son, Jacob. His mother said Mr. Kleinberg limited his outside interests so he could spend more time with his family. A memorial service was held for him at the Jewish Center in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

Karen Joyce Klitzman, 38, worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. She and her twin sister Donna spoke with each other every day on the phone. Karen had taught English for two years in Macao and Beijing, China, and traveled in Siberia and throughout the Middle East. A memorial service was held for her at Stephen Weiss Free Synagogue in New York City.

Nicholas Craig Lassman, 28, was a computer technician for Cantor Fitzgerald. Mr. Lassman studied computers after several years of teaching golf in Florida. He also taught himself how to play the guitar and learned Russian and German so he could read books in those languages. He spoke to his parents, Ira and Laura Lassman, almost every day. A memorial service for Mr. Lassman was held at Temple Beth-El in Cloister, New Jersey.

Alan Lederman, 43, started work for Aon Corporation two months before September 11. Just before reporting to work, he climbed Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the continental United States. Most of his co-workers left the World Trade Center’s south tower, where he worked, but Mr. Lederman stopped to help two women who were paralyzed by panic. A memorial service was held for him at Temple Neve Shalom in Metuchen, New Jersey.

Neil D. Levin, 46, was Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs New York’s three major airports, its port facilities, six bridges and tunnels, and is landlord of the World Trade Center complex. Mr. Levin was at a breakfast meeting at the Windows on the World restaurant atop the north tower when it was hit on September 11.

Mr. Levin’s wife, Christine Ferer, called him “the love of my life, the most kind and generous person,” and someone who became a “super-Dad” to Ms. Ferer’s two daughters from a previous marriage. A memorial service for Mr. Levin was held at the Temple Emanu-El in New York City. His family set up a scholarship fund in his name for children of Port Authority employees killed on September 11.

Steven Barry Lillianthal, 38, was a mortgage bond broker for Cantor Fitzgerald. He was survived by his wife Adina, 4-year old twins, Emma and Gabriel, and a three-month old son, Sam. A memorial service was held for Mr. Lillianthal at Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston, New Jersey.

Stuart T. Meltzer, 32, was an energy broker at Cantor Fitzgerald. He had two young sons; the eldest, Jacob, was four years old when he died. His brother, Larry, said he talked with Stuart at least five days a day, often discussing sports. A memorial service for Mr. Meltzer was held at Temple Emeth in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Nancy Morgenstern, 32, was an administrative assistant at Cantor Fitzgerald. She was an Orthodox Jew whose passions were cycling and skiing. She would bring kosher food and the pots and pans needed to stay kosher on cycling racing trips. In a website dedicated to her memory, her mother wrote, “Nancy, I miss you more than mere words can express. Not only were you my daughter, but you were also my best friend.”

A co-worker described Nancy as “one of the most thoughtful, disciplined, funny, crazy, independent women I ever knew.” Fifty-eight friends wrote tributes to her on her memorial website.

Laurence M. Polatsch, 32, was a partner in equities sales at Cantor Fitzgerald. A prankster, Mr. Polatsch donned a tuxedo and crashed the 2000 wedding of celebrities Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas. He ate with actor Jack Nicholson before security guards asked him to leave. Mr. Polatsch’s mother said he once flew back from college to present her with flowers on her birthday.

Recently, Mr. Polatsch had resumed a relationship with childhood sweetheart Marni Wasserman, and they were expected to marry. Guttermann Funeral Home in Woodbury, New York confirmed that Mr. Polatsch was Jewish.

Faina Rapaport, 45, was a computer programmer working as a consultant to March & McLellan. In 1994, she and her family emigrated from Moscow, Russia to New York. At the time of her death, her son Alex was 25 and her daughter, Elena, 19. Elena said, “I know my mother is still happy about coming to America. She accomplished things that she never would have been able to do in Russia.”

Joshua Reiss, 23, was a bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. An enterprising young man, Joshua began delivering newspapers at age 10, worked in the family business before attending college, and worked full-time as a waiter while also being a full-time student with a double major at college. More than 1500 people attended his memorial service at Adath Israel Synagogue in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. On August 27, 2002, his mother wrote on the internet, “We miss you and still want you to come home. I will always have a void in my soul.”

Brooke David Rosenbaum, 31, was supervisor in the overseas division of Cantor Fitzgerald. He was sick on September 10, but went to work the next day because, according to a friend, he felt that without him, “the whole place would fall apart.” He was survived by his mother, Dorothy. A memorial service was held for him at the Jewish Center in Rego Park, New York.

Sheryl Lynn Rosenbaum, 33, was an accountant and partner at Cantor Fitzgerald. Her father described her as the “glue” of their family. She was survived by her husband, Mark, and two children, aged 3 months and 17 months. A memorial service was held for her at Temple Har Shalom in Warren, New Jersey.

Lloyd Daniel Rosenberg, 31, was a bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. He was survived by his wife Glenna and three daughters, Samantha, 5, Kaylee, 3, and Alyssa, 1. His wife said that “Lloyd’s passion was being a ‘daddy.’ His girls were his pride and joy. I will forever miss the Saturday mornings when I would sneak downstairs and watch him reading them a book or playing ‘horsie.'” A memorial service was held for him at Temple Shalom in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Mark Louis Rosenberg, 26, was a computer programmer for Marsh & McLellan. He attended Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy in New York and Yeshiva University for a short time. Mr. Rosenberg met his wife, Jennifer, at a Jewish youth event. She said, “He was a great people person. He got along with everybody. He had a great smile and a great sense of humor.”

Andrew Ira Rosenblum, 45, was a broker at Cantor Fitzgerald. He married his wife, Jill, at Temple Hillel in North Woodmere, New Jersey, and their sons Jordan and Kyle were 14 and 11, respectively, when their father died. Mr. Rosenblum’s friend, Steve Cohen, said, “Andy was the kind of guy that had many circles of friends and many dear friends within each circle.”

Joshua M. Rosenblum, 28, was an assistant trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. He was only four days away from marrying colleague Gina Hawryluk on September 11. Ms. Hawryluk stayed home from work that day to plan their wedding. Mr. Rosenblum and co-workers smashed out windows with computers on the 104th floor to let smoke escape. A memorial service was held for him at Temple Beth El in Cedarhurst, New York.

Joshua Rosenthal, 44, was a senior vice president at Fiduciary Trust. He was an avid reader, mountain hiker, and sailor. A friend described Mr. Rosenthal as “a wonderfully warm and witty person who was loved and admired by those who knew him.” A memorial service was held for him at Birmingham Temple in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Richard Rosenthal, 50, was vice president of finance at Cantor Fitzgerald. Mr. Rosenthal was treasurer of the Jewish Center in Fair Lawn, New Jersey and also treasurer of the Dysautonomia Foundation.

His son Evan, 18 years old when Mr. Rosenthal died, suffers from dysautonomia, a disorder of the nervous system that confines him to a wheelchair. Evan has needed a feeding tube to eat since he was 2. Friends say Mr. Rosenthal “was always with [Evan].” His younger son Seth, 15 years old when Mr. Rosenthal died, said, following September 11, “I’m going to keep calling him on the cell phone until he answers.”

Michael Craig Rothberg, 39, was a managing director for Cantor Fitzgerald. Mr. Rothberg was an avid skier, boater, and jogger. Described as “modest and unassuming” and extremely loyal to his co-workers, Mr. Rothberg raised money for multiple sclerosis in a bike-a-thon and for a friend who had cancer. A memorial service was held for him at the Temple Sholom in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Ronald J. Ruben, 36, was a vice president of equity trading at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. Mr. Ruben, who was unmarried, “was Uncle Ronnie to 100 kids,” said his sister, Leslie Dillon. When he received his first holiday bonus, he spent it all at a toy store, delivering gifts to children at a hospital near his home.

Mr. Ruben’s father, Peter, died of cancer in 1998 and his mother, Marjorie, died in 1996, also from cancer. To honor them, Mr. Ruben had their initials, M and P, tattooed over his heart. A memorial service was held for him at Temple Israel in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

Jason Elazar Sabbag, 26, was a portfolio manager at Fiduciary Trust. He was engaged to be married to Sarah Hare when he died. A memorial service was held for him at Temple Sholom in Greenwich, Connecticut, at which friends recalled his “warm demeanor, his playful sense of humor, his extraordinary talent in sports, academics, and business, and, most of all, his love for his family and very large circle of friends.”

Eric Sand, 36, was an equity trader at cantor Fitzgerald. Mr. Sand, a talented musician who had once pursued a career in music, had more recently played guitar for a special audience — his young son, Aaron, who was 18 months old when Mr. Sand died. Mr. Sand’s wife, Michelle, said he would rush home from work to spend as much time as possible with his son. A memorial service was held for Mr. Sand at Congregation B’nai Yisrael in Armonk, New York.

Scott Schertzer, 28, worked in the human resources department of Cantor Fitzgerald. On September 10, he felt terrible because he had to give layoff notices to a number of co-workers, but this saved their lives. Mr. Schertzer was an excellent soccer and baseball player who could bench press 102 kilograms, even though he weighed only 70 kilograms.

A memorial service was held for him at Congregation B’nai Ahavath Shalom in Union, New Jersey. On December 5, 2001, his mother, father and sister posted this note on an internet memorial site: “We can never say ‘Good-bye.’ You will always be with us. We love you and will always love you.”

Ian Schneider, 45, was a senior managing director for Cantor Fitzgerald. His lifelong friend Howie Kessler said, “This guy loved life. No one danced harder at a party or shouted louder at a ball game.” His wife Cheryl said that when he arrived home, his three children Rachel, 11, Jake, 9, and Sophie, 7, fought for the right to jump first into his arms. Almost 2000 people attended Mr. Schneider’s memorial service at Temple Sharey Teflio-Israel in South Orange, New Jersey.

Many were families of the children he coached on soccer, softball, and baseball teams, a chore he undertook so he could spend more time with his children.

John Burkhart Schwartz, 40, was a bond broker for Cantor Fitzgerald. A memorial service was held for him at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.

Jason Sekzer, 31, was a vice president at Cantor Fitzgerald. His father, Will Sekzer, who is active in a fraternal society of Jewish New York policemen, described his son as “handsome, smart, humble, and polite.” Mr. Sekzer had married Nastasha Makshanov eight months before he died. On September 10, the photographer called to say that their album of wedding photographs was ready. A memorial service was held for him at East Midwood Jewish Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Hagay Shefi, 34, was the co-founder and chief executive of GoldTier Technologies, a software company. Mr. Shefi had lived in the United States for eight years, after emigrating from Israel, and was close to becoming a U.S. citizen. He was in the Windows on the World restaurant atop the World Trade Center to make a business presentation when it was struck. On September 16, 2001, his body was found intact in the rubble. He was survived by his wife Sigal, also from Israel, a five-year old son and a three-year old daughter.

Mark Shulman, 47, was a disaster inspector, fire prevention and risk consultant for March & McLellan. He was survived by his wife, Lori, and daughters Melissa, 17, and Jamie, 12. “His family always came first,” his mother Evelyn said. “He did everything for his family. I lost a treasure.” A memorial service was held for Mr. Shulman at Temple Shaari Emeth in Manalapan, New Jersey.

Allan Abraham Shwartzstein, 37, was a managing director and partner at Cantor Fitzgerald. “He was about the most considerate person I knew,” longtime friend Mark Madoff said. One thousand people attended the memorial service for him at Temple Beth El in Chappaqua, New York. He was survived by his wife, Amy, a five-year old daughter, Jessica, and a four-year old son, Matthew.

Arthur Simon, 57, was a vice president and equities trader at Fred Alger Management company. He and his son, Kenneth Alan Simon, both died in the World Trade Center. The elder Mr. Simon worked on the 93rd floor; the younger on the 104th. One of Mr. Simon’s greatest loves was dancing. He was survived by his wife, Susan, a son, Todd, and two daughters, Mandy and Jennifer. A memorial service was held for him and his son at Temple Beth El in Spring Valley, New Jersey.

Kenneth Alan Simon, 34, was an equities trader for Cantor Fitzgerald. He and his wife, Karen, had adopted a daughter, Maya, who was 10 months old when he died. “You should have seen his face when he looked into her big brown eyes for the first time,” his wife said. “He just melted.” The Simons had plans to adopt more children.

Mr. Simon called his wife after the plane hit to say that he was going to look for his father, Arthur Simon, who worked 11 stories below him. A memorial service was held for both father and son at Temple Beth El in Spring Valley, New Jersey.

William E. Spitz, 49, was a government bonds broker at Cantor Fitzgerald. He had a degree in elementary education. A memorial service was held for him at Oceanside Jewish Center in Oceanside, New Jersey.

Eric A. Stahlman, 43, was a broker for Cantor Fitzgerald. He joined the company about 10 weeks before September 11. He was survived by his wife, Blanca, who is from Ecuador, a seven-year old daughter, Allison, and a four-year old son, Jacob. Long friendships and close family ties were the things he cherished most, family members said. A memorial service was held for him at Temple Beth El in Papchoque, New York.

Alexander Robbins Steinman, 32, was a vice president in equities sales for Cantor Fitzgerald. Mr. Steinman had attended the wedding in Italy of lifelong friend Richard Diamond on the weekend before September 11. He then rushed home to get back to work, which he loved. “Alex had an incredible sense of humor and he got as much out of life as anybody possibly could,” Mr. Diamond said. He said Mr. Steinman had been “the life of the party” at his wedding in Italy. A memorial service was held for Mr. Steinman at Temple Israel in Staten Island, New York.

Kenneth W. Van Auken, 47, was a bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. He was survived by his wife Lorie, and two children, Matthew and Sarah. His wife says Mr. Van Auken was her “rock,” the loving spirit in her life, and someone who was always willing to interrupt what he was doing to have some fun with his children. He was also a skilled carpenter, building a deck, bookcases, and other projects around his home. A memorial service was held for him at Temple B’nai Shalom in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

Steven Jay Weinberg, 41, was an accounting manager for Baseline Financial Services. He was survived by his wife Laurie and three children, Lindsay, 12, Samuel, 8, and Jason, 6. He went to all his children’s sports events and volunteered at the Parents-Teachers Association. A memorial service for Mr. Weinberg was held at the Nanuet Hebrew Center.

Simon Weiser, 65, was a power-distribution engineer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. A Jew born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1936, he arrived in New York in 1978. He was survived by his wife, a son, and three grandchildren. He was planning to retire in 2002.

David Thomas Weiss, 50, was vice president and deputy general counsel for Cantor Fitzgerald. He was survived by his wife Marcia and daughter Gina. He was described as a “very private man with a kind, sweet and generous heart and … above all else … limitless devotion to this family.” A memorial service was held for him at the Brotherhood Synagogue in New York City.

Michael Wittenstein, 34, was a bond broker at Cantor Fitzgerald. He was scheduled to marry his fiancée, Carrie Bernstein, on October 20, 2001. His uncle, Mark Hershkowitz, said he had thought many times after the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 about buying Michael a parachute, and wishes he had. “Michael was one of those people who always had a smile, always seemed happy at whatever he was doing,” relative Warren Treuhaft wrote. As in the Jewish tradition, Mr. Wittenstein was buried with some of his possessions.

Marc Scott Zeplin, 33, was an equities trader for Cantor Fitzgerald. He was survived by his wife, Debra, and two sons, Ryan, 3, and Ethan, 10 months old. Mr. Zeplin once dreamed of becoming a professional sportscaster, having broadcast hockey games at the University of Michigan. His friends formed the Marc S. Zeplin Foundation, which helps children who lost a parent or loved one on September 11. A memorial service for Mr. Zeplin was held at the Jewish Community Center in Harrisson, New York.

Charles A. Zion, 54, was a senior vice president at Cantor Fitzgerald. Mr. Zion was survived by his wife, Carole, and his 16-year old son, Zachary. “He was a great guy and a great husband,” his wife said. A memorial service for Mr. Zion, who was the son of a rabbi, was held at the Greenwich Reformed Synagogue in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Andrew Steven Zucker, 27, was a lawyer with Harris Beach LLP, which had offices in the World Trade Center’s south tower, which was the second one hit. Mr. Zucker, a former volunteer fireman, stayed around the 78th floor, where the second plane hit, to help others evacuate. He was survived by his wife Erica, who was pregnant with their first child when he died. Mr. Zucker was a member of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi.

Igor Zukelman, 29, worked with computers at Fiduciary Trust Company, on the 97th floor of the north tower, which was hit first. Mr. Zukelman was an immigrant from the Ukraine, arriving in the United States in 1992, and was survived by his three-year old son. According to the World Congress of Russian Jewry, Mr. Zukelman was one of 16 Russian-speaking Jews killed in the September 11 attacks.

Mark Brisman, an attorney from Armonk.

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Filed under Anti-Semitism, Conspiracy Theories, Racism, Ridiculousness, Sociology, Terrorism, The Jewish Conspiracy To Subject Humankind, The Jewish Question, Urban Legends

“They Spit On the Returning Soldiers!” The Journey of a Nazi Lie

Perhaps most of you are familiar with the line from the Vietnam War days. The line is: “The anti-war people spit on the returning veterans!” The story, told endlessly by pro-Vietnam War folks, is that long-haired, hippie, anti-American antiwar protesters spit on the returning veterans coming back from the Vietnam War. They also supposedly called them, “baby-killers.”

As the story is usually told, it’s always women, young, beautiful women, who spit on the haggard, wounded, ill and psychologically battered heroes as they disembarked off the plane or ship or whatever and set their first steps on US soil. “Their women spit on our brave heroes!” is the line.

A journalist, Jerry Lembcke, investigated these claims and wrote a whole book about it, Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam, published in 1998.

Lembcke went back over every single case of someone who said they got spit on, or who reported soldiers getting spit on, and he was not able to substantiate a single case. None of the soldiers reported getting spit on, though you might have expected some of them to lie. It’s was always, “someone I know” or “someone told me.” Same thing with the civilians. A friend witnessed soldiers getting spit on, or told them about soldiers getting spit on, or a soldier they knew got spit on.

None of the stories panned out when Lembcke tried to track them down.

Furthermore, Lembcke noted that there were no regular flights or ships coming into civilian airports or ports bringing soldiers in uniform. The story always is that the uniformed soldiers are disembarking the flight or the ship at a civilian airport or civilian port to waiting throngs of jeering antiwar protesters. It is here that the dirty deed of girls spitting on brave patriotic men occurred.

One problem here. All soldiers coming back from Vietnam disembarked at Navy, Air Force or Army bases. These are places where no civilians are allowed. There’s no way for waiting throng of protesters to greet uniformed troops coming off planes or ships. The protesters can’t get anywhere near the scene of the disembarking in order to line up and protest.

So it turns out that one of the worst lies of Vietnam War is just that – a great big fat lie.

I believe that some antiwar protesters may have shouted, “Baby-killers!” at some soldiers, but after My Lai and other massacres, you had to admit there might have been some truth to that. Actually, considering how crazy a lot of those Vietnam protesters were, I am surprised that they didn’t spit on returning troops. That’s something I fully expected the most whacked out of them to do.

Perhaps you were wondering where that line originated? It did not have its genesis in the Vietnam War. The reporter, on doing some digging, found something far more sinister.

The story about beautiful young, unpatriotic antiwar protesters spitting on wounded, shell-shocked and beleaguered heroes originated WW1 postwar Germany. At the time, it was said that as the brave German soldiers trudged home from the front, battered, freaked-out and defeated, throngs of beautiful, blond young German maidens lined the streets and spit on them as they passed by. After all they had been through, it was the ultimate insult.

Problem is it was a lie then and it was a lie in Vietnam.

Lembcke went back and researched the cases in Germany, and it turned out that German historians widely agreed that this never happened. Guess who made up this lie? The Nazis, and the proto-Nazis.

After all, Hitler himself, as a wounded returning soldier, came out of the hospital after three months and was outraged that his society turned his back and him and his fellow returning veterans. Worse, the vets seemed to be blamed for the war. That was the last straw.

The vets formed rightwing populist groups like the Freicorps and rampaged through the streets of Germany in the 1920’s, attacking Communists, socialists, pacifists, trade unionists and anyone deemed un-German. They were used by the German elite to attack their enemies on the Left at a time when Left wing revolution threatened Germany in the early 1920’s. Problem is, the monster got out of hand, turned into the Nazis 13 years later, seized the government and went nuts.

If the story ended there it would be bad enough, but it does not.

Lembcke found that the story emerged again in France, when returning vets from the Algerian War were spit on beautiful, unpatriotic young French lasses as they trudged home, bitter, wounded, defeated, thousand yard stares poking holes in the Parisian landscape. The author researched the story there, too. French historians looked into the case and found that it never happened then either.

It’s never happened anywhere, not in Germany, nor in France, nor in the US. Sure, it could happen anytime, but historically, it never has. It’s important to shoot down this lie because even I believed it until a colleague told me about this book.

Note that the beautiful young women are an essential aspect of the story. The evil unpatriotic antiwar protesters convince the most beautiful women of the land to turn against its very finest men, men who risked their lives for the nation.

There is something particularly humiliating about a grown man being spit on by a woman, especially a beautiful young woman, especially when he is a brave warrior, especially when his pride, dignity, manners and chivalry prevents him from fighting back against a woman.

The scene implies all sorts of things, especially men humiliated in their manhood after it has already been battered by war and especially by defeat or quasi-defeat. There are overtones of impotence and women mocking men for their impotence or lack of masculinity. The symbolism runs deep and it’s designed to make blood boil. It all adds up to one nasty equation. You do the math.

It’s also interesting  that this lie originated with fascists, in particular ultra-nationalist Nazis. Then it went to ultranationalist French colonizers of the early 1960’s. The French who supported the war in Algeria are generally considered to be a far Right grouping. It emerges again in nationalist Americans fighting another more or less colonial war in Indochina.

I don’t like to call my fellow Americans fascists or Nazis, but the trail of this lie is quite clear.

Shame on anyone who knowingly repeats it.

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Filed under History, Political Science, Psychology, Urban Legends, Vietnam War, War