Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

F.b.i. and Chicago Police Investigate Bombing of Chicago Synagogue

January 13, 1961
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Federal Bureau of Investigation today joined Chicago police in a full-scale hunt for vandals who planted a bomb which exploded last night in the Anshe Emet synagogue, the largest Conservative synagogue in the city.

The bomb went off just before midnight about 90 minutes after participants in a meeting in the basement had left. The blast ripped a hole in the ground, smashed open two doors and cracked walls. Damage was estimated at about $2,000. Hundreds of windows in surrounding houses were shattered. Mayor Daley called the bombing a “shocking thing to occur in our city.”

James H. Gale, head of the FBI Chicago office, said yesterday his agents will seek evidence of violation of Federal law, such as if the explosives were transported on a common carrier. The penalty for unlawful interstate transportation of explosives is one year’s imprisonment and up to $1,000 fine or both. If personal injury is inflicted in a bombing, the culprit may be sentenced to as much as 10 years and fined up to $10,000 or given both penalties.

The vandals, if they are apprehended, will also face action under a new Chicago regulation which imposes stiff penalties for desecration of houses of worship. The regulation was passed by the City Council last January after a rash of swastikas appeared on Chicago synagogues, apparently as part of a worldwide epidemic of anti-Semitic smearings touched off by the desecration of a newly dedicated synagogue in Cologne, Germany, on Christmas Eve in 1959.

Recommended from JTA