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  • The real name of Israel Schwartz

    Hello all,

    Had a question. Is "Israel Schwartz" the real name of the Jewish witness of the Stride murder? The reason I ask is that "Israel Schwartz" sounds too generic for the name of a Hungarian-born Jew. It doesn't sound Hungarian at all.

    My personal theory is that this was a "given" name by the native Londoners for a Jew whose native name was too unpronounceable to the locals. We've seen this before with other local Jews. For example, the Kosminski family was given the name "Abrahams" in the district and another suspect is simply known as "David Cohen" which is the Jewish equivalent of "John Smith" or "John Doe."

    If I am wrong about this, please let me know.

  • #2
    NED:
    It isn't Hungarian, amigo. He wasn't an ethnic Hungarian either.
    I don't know if we can be certain his name was even spelled correctly...not that I know one way or the other....because Schwarz, which is German for 'black' is also a possibility.
    I doubt that it was a generic 'John Doe' for Jewish foreigners...
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    • #3
      Hi NED

      We have a parallel East End example, if you will, in that the convicted murderer, Polish Jew Israel Lipski (1865-1888), the man accused of poisoning landlady Miriam Angel in Batty Street, was born Israel Lobulsk. Now, I have never heard that Israel Schwartz had any other name than the one we know him by but it occurs to me that it is reasonable to question whether that was his original name, given that it was clearly a common practice for Eastern European Jews to adopt other surnames.

      Best regards

      Chris
      Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
      https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

      Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
      Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

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      • #4
        That's a good one, CG.
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        • #5
          Hmmm, an interesting point.

          I wonder if we discover that Schwartz actually had a different "birth name" (which I highly suspect he did, it may lead to some new information about him, i.e. why he isn't listed among Stride's witnesses at her murder inquest.

          Oh and Howie, I knew "Schwartz" meant "black" a looooong time ago. Since about, the time I was born since it is my surname haha.

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          • #6
            Anything is possible and I think it is a good idea to question Israel Schwatrz' real name. Contemporaneous comments by police and press add to the confusion when witnesses are referred to as "half German" or some variation of Polack. Between pogroms, wars and other disruptions Slavic roots are hard to follow, trace or even find. I would assume this would be more so for Jewish people. It is said that in Germany at least prior to the Twentieth Century Jews were only allowed to have certain names which they had to purchase. Therefore there are a lot of Jewish people with steroetypical "Jewish names".
            The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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            • #7
              Contemporaneous comments by police and press add to the confusion when witnesses are referred to as "half German" or some variation of Polack.

              Ha ha !!! I just spewed on the computer screen, Annie !!!
              Whether intentionally or not, that was pretty funny, dear lady !

              The actor, Tony Curtis, was a descendant of Jews from Hungary and his birth name was Bernard Schwartz.
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              • #8
                And according to the Star, Israel Schwartz had a theatrical appearance.

                Maybe when Baxter's deputy showed up on Ellen St. to ask for the police witness to appear at the inquest, everyone just came out of their door and shouted, "I am Spartacus!"
                Best Wishes,
                Cris Malone
                ______________________________________________
                "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cris Malone View Post
                  And according to the Star, Israel Schwartz had a theatrical appearance.

                  Maybe when Baxter's deputy showed up on Ellen St. to ask for the police witness to appear at the inquest, everyone just came out of their door and shouted, "I am Spartacus!"
                  Correct me if I am wrong Cris but wasn't it said that Schwartz's occupation was a theater actor for the local community?

                  If that is true, could "Israel Schwartz" simply be a stage name?

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                  • #10
                    I decided to refresh my knowledge of the issue of Jewish names. [My ancestors are Russian/Polish but not Jewish.] It might be worthwhile to add this information since there are a lot of Jews mentioned in the JtR saga.

                    "In many communities in Hungary the Jews were divided into four groups, and each group was assigned the name Weiss [white], Schwartz [black], Gross [fat] and Klein [small] respectively." 'The Name'; grossmanproject.net/the_name.htm

                    Patronimics had been disallowed around the time of Napoleon. An example of a Jewish patronimic given is Yaakov ben Yitzak [Jacob son of Yitzak]. Various countries and states then sold names to Jews or assigned names. Wealthy Jews could afford to pay for names like Rosenthal [Rose Valley] or Diamant [Diamond] Poor Jews were assigned names as noted in this source by "malignant clerks". A couple of really nasty examples are: Golgenstrick, meaning gallows rope, and Taschengregger meaning pickpocket. 'About Jewishness' by Nathan Pinto; jewishness.bellevueholidayrentals.com/jewishnames.html

                    It does look like Israel Schwarz could have been Hungarian~or not.
                    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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                    • #11
                      And remember that European borders have moved about quite a bit in the last 100 years and entire cities have changed nationality. Many of todays modern European states were in the LVP part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Also the Jewish populations were often a 'State within a state' enabled by the freedom of movement within the A-H empire. As an aside the Hitler family is said to have originated in what is now the Czech Republic.

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                      • #12
                        Phil:
                        Good point about cities switching hands, so to speak.
                        One of me grannys was born in a town in Hungary in 1896 which is now part of the Ukraine.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Phillip Walton View Post
                          And remember that European borders have moved about quite a bit in the last 100 years and entire cities have changed nationality. Many of todays modern European states were in the LVP part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Also the Jewish populations were often a 'State within a state' enabled by the freedom of movement within the A-H empire. As an aside the Hitler family is said to have originated in what is now the Czech Republic.
                          The last part of the "Who Do You Think You Are?" episode with actor David Suchet is informative about the name changes of his father's family, originating from Russia via Lithuania and South Africa. As Phil stated, a number of those areas of Eastern Europe changed hands many times.

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBTgkKgt2ss
                          Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                          https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                          Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                          Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
                            I decided to refresh my knowledge of the issue of Jewish names. [My ancestors are Russian/Polish but not Jewish.] It might be worthwhile to add this information since there are a lot of Jews mentioned in the JtR saga.

                            "In many communities in Hungary the Jews were divided into four groups, and each group was assigned the name Weiss [white], Schwartz [black], Gross [fat] and Klein [small] respectively." 'The Name'; grossmanproject.net/the_name.htm

                            Patronimics had been disallowed around the time of Napoleon. An example of a Jewish patronimic given is Yaakov ben Yitzak [Jacob son of Yitzak]. Various countries and states then sold names to Jews or assigned names. Wealthy Jews could afford to pay for names like Rosenthal [Rose Valley] or Diamant [Diamond] Poor Jews were assigned names as noted in this source by "malignant clerks". A couple of really nasty examples are: Golgenstrick, meaning gallows rope, and Taschengregger meaning pickpocket. 'About Jewishness' by Nathan Pinto; jewishness.bellevueholidayrentals.com/jewishnames.html

                            It does look like Israel Schwarz could have been Hungarian~or not.
                            Good information on the origin of Jewish names. Thank you, Anna.

                            I was not aware that "Patronimics had been disallowed around the time of Napoleon."

                            Of course, an interesting side note is that Liz Stride's birth name was a patronimic, Elisabeth Gustafsdottir -- Elisabeth, daughter of Gustaf or Gustav.

                            Chris
                            Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                            https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                            Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                            Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

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                            • #15
                              Hi guys

                              If I remember correctly this came up before and I believe the confusion was indeed about his birthplace. He was classed as being born in Poland in 1891 but then in Russia in 1901 but this was due to the change dynamics within the countries at the time.

                              We do know that Israel didn't have much compunction about changing the names within the family over the census years (30) but his stayed the same, not sure if that actually means anything to anyone just thought I would point it out.

                              Tracy
                              If you're going to be two-faced at least make one of them pretty.

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