Tragic End of Mixed Marriage Causes Excitement on East Side
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Tragic End of Mixed Marriage Causes Excitement on East Side

The usual tragic end of a mixed marriage was doubly tragic in the case of Jennie Leshkowitz, Jewish East-Side girl and Dominick Soula, and Italian boy, also from the East-Side.

They met twenty years ago, when she was four and he was eight. Their parents were neighbors and the children were chums. They went to school together, played together and when they grew up, they decided to marry each other. Both families strongly objected. However, they eloped and were married by a Justice of the Peace.

Jennie’s parents, strongly orthodox Jews, when they learned of the marriage, observed “shivah” after her, seven days of mourning for the dead. The young wife, estranged from her family, boycotted by her friends and conscience-stricken over the grief of her parents, developed tuberculosis.

When her situation grew worse she was taken by her husband to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where, anticipating her death, Scula called in a Catholic priest, who received her into the Catholic faith. Jennie, unconscious, received the holy Sacrament, and immediately afterwards died.

When it came to the burial, a fight of a very tragic nature arose. The husband insisted that in conformity with the law, he had the right to bury his wife in his plot in the Catholic cemetery, especially since her parents had mourned her as dead years ago, and she had died a Catholic.

Her parents, however, insisted that she be buried in the Jewish cemetery, pointing to the fact that she was converted to Christianity in a state of unconsciousness.

The controversy aroused the interest of thousands of Jews and Italians, who assembled on the East-Side street, where her body was resting. Feeling ran so high that special police protection had to be maintained, while the body was taken out to the Catholic cemetery.

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