On April 5, 1922, a postman in Erie, Pennsylvania, found the lifeless body of a Polish Jewish immigrant, Herman Martius, in his grocery store on 18th Street. Marcius’ head was smashed, possibly with an ax. The store was looted. Police investigated and rejected several possible explanations, including frostbite, robbery that went wrong, and insurance fraud. One hundred years later, the murder of Martius was never revealed.
Kip Dawson, Martius ’granddaughter, believes the circumstances of her grandfather’s murder and subsequent fruitless police investigation may have been linked to his radical policies. Dawson suggests that as a member of Friends of Soviet Russia, Martius could have fallen victim to Red Fear tactics from law enforcement or targeted by a local Ku Klux Klan.
Dawson, a Pittsburgh public school teacher and former Washington County coal miner, has spent many years researching the life and death of Martius and presenting his work at free virtual event May 19 at 19:30 with the support of the Battle for Homestead Foundation.
Dawson will join Labor historian Lou Martin to discuss his research into crime and investigations, and the consequences of murder in a society he says symbolizes the civil and social upheavals that gripped American democracy in the 1920s.
“You can think of history as a spiral,” says Dawson. from the past “.
Death of a Jewish radical in Erie, Pennsylvania, 1922: an echo of a century ago. 19: 30-21: 30 Thu, 19 May. Virtual. Free with registration. eventbrite.com/e/death-of-a-jewish-radical-in-erie-pa-1922-echoes-from-a-century-ago-tickets-313661890157