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Encyclopedia Deletes Affront to Greek Jews

July 4, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Compton’s Pictured Encyclopedia has informed M. Benadevet of 2455 Calvert avenue that it will delete a phrase in the article dealing with Salonica which has been declared offensive to Jews.

Athol E. Rollins, editor of the encyclopedia, writing to Mr. Benadevet, states:

“I want to say that I can thoroughly sympathize with you in your feeling. However true this statement may be to the personal observations of the author of the article, nevertheless it is a generalization which can hardly be defended.

“It is the settled policy of Compton’s to avoid statements which might give offense to any race or creed. This principle was emphasized so strongly in instructions to all our writers that I am surprised that such a phrase as the one you cite in the Salonika article could have escaped our editorial examination. I suppose it was inevitable, however, in preparing so many thousands of articles, some unfortunate phrases as this should have slipped through.

“I have made a note to have the phrase deleted from our encyclopedia.”

The reference to which Mr. Benadevet took exception reads as follows:

“Near its eastern end this street is spanned by a triumphal arch erected in the days of the Roman Empire. All day long American streetcars rumble back and forth beneath it. The dignified fathers of Israel in greasy fur-lined gabardines rub elbows with kilted Greek peasants in tight white trousers tasseled under the knees, or booted Montenegrins with hanging sleeves. Arrogant Bulgars, in brown homespun and opinskis rought sandals of untanned leather—stare at tall Albanians in white or black frieze and white skull caps over one ear.”

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