There is not a long and storied history of Jews in motorsports. The cast of characters is limited and filled mostly with names like Jody and Tomas Scheckter, François Cevert and Peter Revson, all of which likely means little to the average American, and less to the average American Jew.
As the events unfolded, it was a story that could only be measured against the biblical account of Job. It was everyone's worst nightmare.
During the late 1930s, Hitler's persecution of Jews was building to a frenzy even as fears of a war escalated. Nevertheless, General Motors' German automotive subsidiary, Opel, remained a loyal corporate citizen of the Third Reich -- content to obediently do the Nazi regime's bidding, and unstintingly supporting Hitler's program on many fronts. These included economic and employment recovery, anti-Jewish persecution, war preparedness and domestic propaganda. In return, Opel prospered.
The Last Word: How will posterity remember General Motors' conduct? The epilogue of the tumultuous saga of General Motors during the New Deal and Nazi era is still being written.That saga is the subject of a four-part JTA investigative series that concludes with this story.
Within a few years of partnering with the Hitler regime, Opel began to dwarf all competition. By 1937, GM's subsidiary had grown to triple the size of Daimler-Benz and quadruple that of Ford's fledgling German operation, known as Ford-Werke.
Opel became an essential element of the German rearmament and modernization Hitler required to subjugate Europe.
The boulevard in the 1920s was the natural place for the institutions and their members to relocate. They saw that, in the future, downtown's narrow, congested streets would no longer be the center of the community. Los Angeles was turning into a driving city, and Wilshire became the nation's first Automobile Age thoroughfare. Religious establishments that wished to be part of the exciting future moved to Wilshire Boulevard.
A local American Israeli family, which lost a daughter in an airport shooting rampage last July 4, is in renewed mourning for a son who died Nov. 26 following a car accident.