After our lunch at Seven Hens, we headed off to the Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum––yes, rocking out to Beyonce the whole way there. We had a few minutes to explore before our guide met us. My favorite part was the exhibit on the history of Jewish cuisine, which has apparently progressed just as little as I had initially thought.
Our guide soon met up with us. She explained the elaborate Leo Frank Trial: Leo Frank, a Jew, was the superintendent at a pencil factory in Atlanta in the early 1900’s, and was charged with the murder of a Mary Phagan, young worker there. Many believed him innocent, and he was not sentenced to death. Nonetheless, one night, a mob broke into the prison where he was staying and lynched him. Frank’s case shattered the Jewish community in Atlanta, changing its sentiment to one of security to one of fear almost overnight; his lynching represents an important shift in much of the southern Jewish community, and can be used to explain why today’s southern Jewry looks the way it does.
The Leo Frank Case was both compelling and somber, and it was the perfect way for us to transition into some down-time at the hotel before heading out to the Jewish Film Festival this evening.
Hugs and kisses from Atlanta!