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Charles A. Levine
1 Introduction
2 The Songs
3 A Hero Is Forgotten
4 Hunted by the FBI
NPR Documentary
Levine and His Flying Machine, the documentary about the first transatlantic airplane passenger. (12:29 min.)

4 Songs Honoring Levine

"Levine and His Flying Machine," by Charles Cohan.

"Levine the Great Man," by Charles Cohan.

"Hurrah for Levine," by Irving Grossman.

"Levine," by Joseph Feldman and His Orchestra.

"The New Jewish Record," Der Tog (The Day), June 7, 1927.

"What the Jew in the Street Thinks about the Jewish Flying Hero," Der Tog, June 9, 1927.

"President Coolidge and the Jews," Der Tog, June 8, 1927.

The Songs

In the weeks following Levine's triumph, the Jewish-American community was in a state of rapture as across the sea one of its own was received by European dignitaries from Hindenburg to Mussolini. On Manhattan's Lower East Side, the Jews spoke of little else.

"The anti-Semites in Germany and the anti-Semites around the world will have to take their hats off to Levine the Jew," pronounced the New York Yiddish daily newspaper Der Tog. "No longer will we be obliged to prove that Jews are as capable and strong on the field of physical bravery as on the field of intellectual achievements."

Within a month a half-dozen songs had been written in Levine's honor. The transatlantic flyer was seen as heralding the advent of the modern Jewish hero: independent, courageous, and proud. Two of the songs made musical allusion to "Ha'Tikvah" (The Hope), the then unofficial Jewish national anthem. The implication was unmistakable: here was a defining character for Jewish aspiration.

Next Page: A Hero Is Forgotten »


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