Rabbi Steven Lebow, ADL and the Jewish American society for historic Preservation gathered to rededicate Frank"s memorial.
Dave Schechter is a veteran journalist whose career includes writing and producing reports native Israel and also elsewhere in the middle East.
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In Deuteronomy is found the instruction: Justice, justice you shall pursue.The rededication of a memorial was yet one action in the decades-long project to acquire justice because that Leo Frank, who was lynched ~ above Aug. 17, 1915, in the Marietta woods near where Roswell roadway intersects interstate 75 today.
The memorial, i beg your pardon the Georgia room of transportation removed four years back because of road construction, now stands anchored in a sidewalk in a grassy area sculpted out by GDOT.Get The AJT newsletter by email and also never miss out on our height storiesFree sign Up
Those in attendance on the morning of august 23 concerned remember the evil perpetrated a short distance away.
“Leo Frank was innocent. And those four words have eluded polite conversation in Atlanta and also in Marietta because that over a century,” asserted Rabbi Steve Lebow of holy place Kol Emeth.
The memorial had actually been located throughout Roswell Road near Frey’s Gin Road. It to be close to wherein Frank, the 31-year-old Jewish superintendent of a downtown Atlanta pencil factory, to be hung in ~ daybreak adhering to his kidnapping overnight native the state jail in Milledgeville.
Frank was to have spent the remainder that his days over there after Gov. John Slaton, in among his critical acts in office, commuted the fatality sentence open minded received. A jury uncovered him guilty that the April 26, 1913, murder of 13-year-old mar Phagan, who functioned at the factory.
Those planners and executioners of the lynching contained leading citizen of Cobb County.
Lebow, whose Reform congregation is located a few miles native the memorial, is a vocal support for a finish exoneration that Frank. He to be granted a minimal pardon through the state in 1986 ~ above the grounds that he was denied a same trial and that the state failure to safeguard him in prison.
“You know, we have a saying that ‘justice delayed is justice denied,” Lebow told those assembled. “And candid has had his righteousness delayed. He’s still guilty in the main records the the state of Georgia. Yet every historian, every politician, and every prosecutor knows the Leo Frank was innocent.”
Rabbi Steve Lebow, holy place Kol Emeth
The revived memorial reads: “Near this ar on respectable 17, 1915, Leo M. Frank, the Jewish superintendent of the nationwide Pencil firm in Atlanta, was lynched because that the killing of thirteen-year-old mar Phagan, a manufacturing facility employee. A highly controversial trial fueled by societal tensions and also anti-Semitism led to a guilty decision in 1913. After Governor john M. Slaton commuted his sentence from death to life in prison, Frank was kidnapped indigenous the state prison in Milledgeville and also taken come Phagan’s hometown that Marietta where he was hanged before a regional crowd. Without addressing guilt or innocence, and in recognition of the state’s failure to either safeguard Frank or bring his killers come justice, he to be granted a posthumous pardon in 1986.”
Below those words room those who put up the marker: the Georgia historical Society, the Jewish American society for historic Preservation, and Temple Kol Emeth.
Jerry Klinger is chairman of the Jewish American society for historical Preservation.
The placement of the memorial is a sign, Lebow said, the the state of Georgia and also the Georgia Historical society “tacitly understand” that Frank to be a victim, and also not the killer. “So, we are progressively moving in our ar to establish the horrors that lynching towards all, but additionally the can be fried exoneration the Leo Frank,” that said.Following the ceremony, together a crepe myrtle tree detailed by the Southeast regional office of the Anti-Defamation organization was planted numerous feet from the memorial, part in attendance take it their revolve placing a shovelful that dirt into the hole.
Frank is hidden at mountain Carmel Cemetery in the brand-new York borough that Queens. His Atlanta-native widow, Lucille Selig Frank, never remarried and also died in 1957, and also her ashes room buried between her parents’ graves in the Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.
A little much more than 2 miles west the the Leo open minded memorial, in the Marietta City Cemetery, is the grave of mar Phagan.
Wreath detailed by Jerry Klinger, Rabbi Lebow and ADL for mary Phagan at her grave site.
The organizers the the rededication awareness – Lebow, the ADL, and Jerry Klinger, JASHP chairman – also ordered a floral wreath come be inserted at Phagan’s gravesite.Klinger has actually been Lebow’s companion in initiatives to gain back the memorial. He dubbed Lebow “a courageous individual” for his ongoing initiatives to get Frank formal exoneration.
Jerry Klinger is chairman of the Jewish American society for historic Preservation.
Klinger, a retirement financial solutions executive that lives near Washington, D.C., paid because that the Leo open minded memorial. He’s done the exact same for markers in 30 states and also five countries that recall remarkable events and people in Jewish American history.
In his remarks, Klinger announced that GDOT has actually approved his setup to additionally place on that site a mite made of black Georgia marble that reads: “In respectful memory of the thousands throughout America denied justice through lynching; victims of hatred, prejudice, and ignorance. Between 1880-1946, ~570 Georgians were lynched. ADL, Jewish American society for historical Preservation, Rabbi Steven Lebow, holy place Kol Emeth.”
That memorial will certainly be 36 inch tall, 14 inches large at that base and six customs in depth, and will be committed later this year.
“I establish we had actually an chance to change the an interpretation of this location past Leo Frank, to transform it into something of nationwide significance,” Klinger said, calling it the first memorial in the unified States devoted to all victims the lynching.
In his remarks, attorney Dale Schwartz recounted the story of just how the minimal pardon to be gained. In those years, as a member of the ADL’s Southeast region board, Schwartz was the lead counsel for the pardon application process.
In 1982, 83-year-old Alonzo Mann, who had worked at the manufacturing facility as a boy, said the Nashville Tennessean newspaper the he had actually seen another worker at the pencil factory, Jim Conley, delivering a girl’s limp body and that Conley had threatened him not to tell.
In December 1983, the Georgia board of Pardons and also Paroles rejected an appeal the Frank it is in exonerated, saying that his innocence could not be proved beyond a shadow of doubt.
On march 11, 1986, the board granted a posthumous pardon “without attempting to address the concern of guilt or innocence and also in acknowledgment of the state’s failure to defend the person of Leo M. Frank and also thereby maintain his opportunity for ongoing legal very nice one of his conviction, and also in acknowledgment of the state’s failure to lug his killers to justice, and as an initiative to cure old wounds.”
Schwartz, now a significant immigration attorney, known Lebow’s efforts. “Rabbi Lebow really has actually never permit us sluggish down in make the efforts to acquire Leo candid exonerated.”
“We hope the those who involved this green room in the future and also read the story the the occasions that take it place here in 1915 no only gain a greater understanding of what happened here, but also come away v an expertise of the function that historic markers play as an educational resource,” stated Patricia Meagher, GHS interactions director.
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The memorial rededication awareness that started with a prayer by Rabbi Daniel Dorsch the Congregation Etz Chaim in Marietta finished with the chanting the “El Maleh Rahamim” by Cantor Barbara Margulis of temple Kehillat Chaim in Roswell and the Kaddish recited by Lebow.