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Oct 1, 2012

Richard Burstein to Present on Leo Frank and the ADL

On January 23, 2013, Richard Burstein will be making a presentation at the Valley Beth Shalom College of Jewish Studies on the case of Leo Frank, a Jewish manager of a pencil manufacturing plant in Atlanta, Georgia who is generally considered to have been wrongly convicted in approximately 1915 of murdering a young female worker in his plant in a trial marked by hostile, anti- Semitic crowds swirling around the courthouse. A courageous Governor of Georgia, convinced of the wrongful nature of the conviction, commuted Frank’s death sentence to life imprisonment to permit him to pursue exoneration. Frank’s appeal ultimately found its way to the US Supreme Court, where his conviction was affirmed, with Justice Holmes and Chief Justice Hughes in dissent.

Frank was kidnapped from the Georgia prison farm where he was serving his life sentence and lynched by a group of Georgians now considered to have included prominent Georgians. The Frank case gave rise to the birth of the Anti Defamation League and the revival of the KKK.

The presentation will include a discussion by a representative of the ADL.

The College’s program this year, over several evenings, will deal with the history of Jews in America from 1912 – 2012.

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