Leo Frank and a slice of Barnes family history

Bill Nigut, the former newsman who now heads the Southeastern operations of the Anti-Defamation League, just issued an irresistible invitation.

The Thursday event at the Cobb Energy Peforming Arts Center is a first-ever screening of a PBS documentary about Leo Frank, the Jewish businessman who was arrested for murder, convicted and subsequently lynched by a socially prominent Marietta mob in August 1915.

The invitation includes the following paragraph:

The chairs for the event include former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, whose wife Marie is the granddaughter of one of the leaders of the lynch mob, and Sam Olens, the first Jewish chairman of the Cobb County Commission. The audience will also include other descendants of the hanging party as well as the family of Lucille Selig Frank, Leo Frank’s widow.

One would surmise that bow ties are the preferred attire.

Sid Cottingham, who operates the blog Cracker Squire down in south Georgia, notes a somewhat related topic addressed Friday in the Wall Street Journal, on black colleges in the South that served as a refuge for Jewish academics during the Holocaust:

Several thousand German-Jewish scholars and academics fled Nazi Germany and Austria in the 1930s and 1940s, following decrees that banished Jews from teaching and forced them out of universities.

Many found their way to the U.S. Those with distinguished backgrounds — most notably Albert Einstein — were hired by research institutes and prestigious schools such as Harvard and the New School.

But younger or less-established German-Jewish academics struggled to find work. When black colleges offered them positions, they set about making homes for themselves in these schools, many of which were founded after the Civil War by Christian orders to educate freed slaves.

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2 comments Add your comment

Will Jones - Atlanta

April 25th, 2009
5:36 pm

The curse comes not without cause…and the Barnes ain’t right…their curse need not be Georgia’s.

Democrats better come up with some better candidates to rid us of the Gay Old Perverts.

J. T. the Citizen

April 25th, 2009
7:56 pm

We can choose our friends, but we cannot choose our relatives. If we dig a little more, perhaps we will see that other prominent Cobb Countians have their familial roots in some strong seeds of hatred and prejudice. This only should make us all more determined not to make similar mistakes as were made in the past, some of which were made by our relatives. My thoughts now turn to Will Cambbell’s timely encapsulation of the gospel in less than new words: “We’re all b_stards but God loves us anyway.” Let us never engage in chronological egotism. Roy Barnes should be judged only on the merits of his own ideas and positions. I think that he learned a bit from teacher-baiting.