by Ron Unz
About a week ago both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal devoted considerable space to the coverage of “Parade,” the revival of a 1998 Broadway musical on the 1915 killing of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager in Atlanta, Georgia, arguably the most famous lynching in American history.
Frank had been convicted and sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a young girl in his employ and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was founded in an effort to save his life. After numerous legal appeals failed, the state’s governor eventually commuted Frank’s sentence and a group of outraged citizens responded by hanging Frank. The incident was portrayed in both the musical and the associated media coverage as a particularly horrifying example of American anti-Semitism.
However, the actual facts of that case were quite different than that and in 2018 I’d discussed them at considerable length as part of a longer article. Given the recently renewed spotlight on the issue and the fascinating implications of the true story, I’ve decided to extract and republish my analysis in hopes of bringing it to wider current attention.Continue Reading →