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Aug 18, 2013
Not The Jew
An article in The Morning Call about a reunion of Hess Brothers employees brings me to one of my blog ideas never written. I believe that anti-semitism helped numerous businesses thrive in Allentown. I can tell you that as a Jew growing up in Allentown, that there was no lack of anti-semitism, it comes easy for the Pennsylvania Dutch Germans. I can also tell you that as a customer there was no reason to go the Leh's or Zollinger's, other than they weren't the Jew. I've met business people who prided themselves on never having worked for Max Hess Jr. I met business people who after learning the business from Hess, went out on their own, and still called him a Jew. If Hess wasn't a Jew, and merchants had to compete with his merchandizing skills without getting some business due to anti-Semitism, there would have been fewer businesses on Hamilton Street.