Anne Frank once said that everyone has a piece of good news inside of them. This day that age in history, August 4, is a day where many events took place in Jewish history. What other interesting and in some cases, tragic happenings took place on August 4? Enter the time machine.
Famous Historical Events
1558: The first printing of the Zohar, or Jewish Kabbalah, takes place on this day. Zohar means “splendor” or “radiance,” and the book is considered the foundational work of Jewish mysticism, known as Kabbalah. The Kabbalah is comprised of several books, and it also includes commentary on the mystical aspects of the first five books of Moses or the Torah. Also included is material on mythical cosmogony, mysticism, and mystical psychology. The work also includes chapters that discuss the nature of God, souls, and the origin of the universe. Mostly, the Zohar is written in an obscure style of Aramaic.
1693: This is the day in history traditionally given as the birthday for Dom Perignon’s invention of champagne. The bubbly drink is now a staple of weddings, anniversaries, and other celebrations and essential personal milestones.
1942: The first train carrying Jewish prisoners departs Mechelen Belgium for Auschwitz. Several trains would arrive every day from every country in Europe, and each train carried around 1000 people. Many died of suffocation, sickness, and hunger on the trains, since the journey lasted for days with no food, and often no room to sit. Upon arrival, prisoners were unloaded and then forced to walk to the camp. Prisoners were then selected for either work or immediate execution. An estimated 80% of all people who survived the train ride were killed as soon as they arrived. The majority of people who were not immediately sent to the gas chambers would later die of disease, starvation, overwork, or mistreatment.
1944: After hiding in an attic safehouse with her family for more than two years, Anne Frank is found, captured, and imprisoned in Bergen-Belsen. Anne and her sister died of typhus in March of 1945, while her mother died of starvation in Auschwitz. Her father, Otto, was the only member of the family to survive until Allied troops were able to liberate the camp in January of 1945. To this day, no one knows who tipped off the Gestapo about the attic safe house, and it’s regarded as one of history’s most significant cold cases. In August of 2019, a team of investigators plans to open the case and try to identify who gave the anonymous tip that ended up killing Anne Frank, her sister, and mother.
1956: On a happier note, no pun intended, Elvis Presley releases his famous song, “Hound Dog.” Initially, Big Mama Thornton recorded the song as a blues tune in 1953.
1961: Barack Obama
Barack Obama served as the 44th President of the US and was the country’s first African American President. He was born in Hawaii on this day in history.
1922: Enver Pasha
Pasha was the leader of the 1908 Young Turk Revolution and a key player in the political scene of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. He also served as the Minister for War from 1914 to 1918. He was killed in battle on this day in history.
If you’d love to see a close to one of history’s biggest cold cases, keep an eye out for the investigation on the 75th anniversary of Anne Frank’s capture on this day in history, August 4.