This is a story about Detroit in good times and bad. This is a story about a vibrant Jewish community in Detroit, its successes and its coping with anti-Semitism. This is a story about athletics in the Detroit community and its meaning to it. This is a story about the growth of a virulent cancer in Europe leading up to and including World War II and about those who tried to retard and overcome it.
Most of the events and people in this work are real. The story is told through the lives of two fictional characters from their coming of age onward.
When Detroiters lifted their champagne glasses and toasted in the first day of the 20 th century, their city was already a growing metropolis, boasting a population of over 285,000 residents. In the 19 th century, those moving west would buy their stoves in Detroit and load them onto their Conestoga wagons. In 1900 Detroit was still a great producer of heating and cooking ovens. It was also a city filled with many small machine shops making parts for industry. Things were about to change.
Young Henry Ford had worked for Young Tom Edison for eight years. He had just been made Edison's chief engineer. Henry, however, had an idea of his own. He wanted to make a horseless carriage that everyone could use. Henry left Tom, and after a few failures, the first Model A Ford rolled onto the streets of Detroit.
The cars kept rolling and the city kept growing. Ty Cobb brought the local baseballers three pennants, and skyscrapers started to dot the skyline along the Detroit River. 8
Ford needed workers for his new concept of mass production, so he announced an unheard-of wage of $5 per day. Blacks migrated north from the South and whites from Eastern Europe. With this mighty influx came racial tensions. Detroit's Ku Klux Klan membership rose, and with it, the spewing of racism and anti-Semitism increased.
Ford was guilty of his own anti-Semitism. His newspaper, the Dearborn Independent, pulled no punches when it came to Ford's distaste for the Jewish people as a whole.
As our story begins, Ford himself has issued a public apology, acknowledging that some of his attacks had gone too far.
It is in this cauldron that The Journey begins.