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SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT

1939s7Dear Hank,

I am in a jail in a small Georgia town on my way to Chicago. I am still not sure how this happened. Mr. Stein and me were taking a bus ride and going through many south towns and when we stopped in one to get more gasoline, Mr. Stein had to get out and go to the toilet room and the bus driver drove away without him! I screamed and yelled things in German at the driver but he would not stop and yelled back at me using bad words I am sure. Later when the bus was a few towns away from there I screamed and shouted some more and the driver pushed me out on the road and called me a heimer or a hymen or some other word like that. I walked into this town called Marietta and two police men picked me up for vagrating and put me in the jail. They fed me soup that had some bugs in it and let me mail this letter, but I do not have an idea what has happened to Mr. Stein. Can you do something to help?

Your friend,
Markie

14 September 1938

 

To Rabbi Leo Franklin:

My young pen pal Markus Edelstein is currently being held in a jail outside Atlanta. I am very concerned because as you know, there is quite a lot of anti-Jewish sentiment down there. It is where wrongly convicted Leo Frank, the man with the name so close to yours, was lynched for the murder of his 13-year-old employee Mary Phagan 25 years ago. Do you know of anyone prominent in Atlanta’s Jewish community who could maybe bail Markie out and get him on a train to Detroit? Obviously, I will foot any and all bills. There is also an elderly man named Stein who was supposed to be taking him to Chicago on a bus but must have boarded the wrong one because they were headed east instead of north, and I have no clue what has happened to him.

Please let me know if you can assist with this as soon as possible.

Hank Greenberg

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