US/World News

Antisemitism flourishes around Leo Frank case

One hundred years after the maliciously prejudiced murder conviction of Jewish businessman Leo Frank, antisemites are using misleading websites about the Frank case to promote anti-Jewish views, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). August 25, 2013 marks the anniversary of Frank’s death sentence after he was falsely convicted of murdering Mary Phagan, a young girl, who worked at his family’s pencil factory. The ugly antisemitism surrounding the Frank case served as a catalyst for the Jewish community in America to organize and fight back against bigotry and discrimination.

In 1915, less than one month after Frank survived an assassination attempt, he was abducted from prison by a lynch mob and hanged from an oak tree.  He remains the only Jewish person ever to be lynched in the United States.

“The trial and lynching of Leo Frank was one of the most virulent antisemitic episodes in American history,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  “Today’s antisemites are still attacking Leo Frank by using the Internet as a platform to demonize him and exploit this anniversary by creating distorted websites that ostensibly provide information but actually use deceptive means to relay their own version of events.”

One of the websites, “The 1913 Leo Frank Case and Trial Research Library,” accuses Jews of using the Frank case to create a race war against European-Americans. It also claims that Jews control the U.S. government. Another site, which is registered to a known neo-Nazi, has antisemitic works cited as resources on the case. “This is a blatant attempt to turn back the clock and discredit the Jewish community’s historical efforts to fight antisemitism,”  Foxman said.  “We see this as another example of how the bigots seamlessly use the web to spread their vicious lies.”

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