A Dual Heritage: The Public Career of Oscar S. Straus

A Dual Heritage: The Public Career of Oscar S. Straus

A Dual Heritage: The Public Career of Oscar S. Straus

A Dual Heritage: The Public Career of Oscar S. Straus

Excerpt

In the evening of November 2, 1912 a chauffeur-driven car made its way slowly through the narrow streets of New York's lower east-side. It came to a stop at the corner of East Broadway and Rutgers Street, and out stepped a short, slight, well- dressed gentleman. A crowd of some three thousand residents of the neighborhood had gathered to greet him. When he began his speech they recognized the distinctive features which they had seen in pictures-the large head, protruding forehead, prominent nose, mustache, and short straggly beard. In deliberate and forthright tones bare of oratorical flourishes the speaker gave them the Progressive party's message. He was battling for the success of the Progressives, he declared, to enable others like himself to rise above a background of poverty. The speaker was campaigning for the office of governor. His name was Oscar Straus.

To many in the audience of newly-arrived Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe, it mattered little what he said. Some no doubt even failed to comprehend the very language he spoke. But he was a Jew, albeit of German Reform stripe, who had raised money for the pogrom victims of Kishinev and Odessa, who had bargained across the table with the Czar's Count Witte. Three-time representative to Constantinople and member of Theodore Roosevelt's cabinet, he had proved that . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.