Jewish War Veterans Demand Resignation of N. Y. Fire Commissioner
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Jewish War Veterans Demand Resignation of N. Y. Fire Commissioner

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A demand that Fire Commissioner John J. Dorman be removed from office was presented to Mayor Walker by members of the Jewish Veterans of the Wars of the Republic.

The demand was made following a meeting of the Veterans at the Riverside Synagogue on West 103rd Street. Resolution condemning the Commissioner were adopted.

The protest resulted from the recounting of a jest by Mr. Dorman; a quip about “a Mr. Cohen.” It was told at the communion breakfast of the Firemen’s Holy Name Society Sunday morning at the Astor Hotel. Morris Florea, a commander of the Manhattan post of the Jewish Veterans of the Wars of the Republic, heard the story over the radio.

“It seems,” Mr. Dorman had remarked, “that there was a Mr. Cohen whose two children were playing with matches in front of the house, and Mrs. Cohen chided them. Then Mr. Cohen raised his voice.

“Vot bummers!” he yelled. “You should play with matches on the side-walk! Come into the house and play with them!”

Mr. Florea recounted the story at the meeting of the war veterans. Morris J. Mendelsohn, commander in chief of the veterans, protested against the Fire Commissioner.

“When the Fire Commissioner uttered these words he deemed it a joke,” Mr. Mendelsohn said. “But it was no joke, particularly when uttered by a public official. That official is unfit for the position he holds, and I suggest a resolution to dismiss him from office.”

Col. Maurice Simmons, past commander of the veterans, was the next speaker. He termed the story a “foul and vicious aspersion on the Jewish race” and said:

“I, as a taxpayer and as a former member of the Mayor’s cabinet, denounce this foul slander, this implication that a characteristic crime of the Jewish race is arson. The Fire Commissioner should be removed from public office.”

The resolution adopted read as follows:

“Whereas, it is reported that a Fire Commissioner of the City of New York, in a public address this day, did by unseemly innuendo cast invidious aspersions on his Jewish fellow-citizens, all posts of the New York Jewish Veterans of the Wars of the Republic do hereby condemn the base, undignified and vicious attack, and ask the Mayor, in the event of the report being substantiated, to dismiss the Fire Commissioner from public office.”


Dr. Henry Moscowitz is acting as vice-chairman of the Hakoah testimonial dinner committee. His name was inadvertently omitted from the previous report.

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