New-York Daily Tribune, an
article dated October 2,
LAYS HAZING TO CREED.
DRIVEN OUT, JEW
Complains of Maltreatment at Webb Academy.
[By Telegraph to The Tribune.]
Syracuse, Oct. 1 -- Because he
was unable to withstand the hazing and persecution of fellow
students because of his religion, Abraham Klein, a freshman
in the Webb Naval Academy, at Fordham Heights, who stood
second in a class of thirty-six candidates and on a
scholarship, has returned to this city. Young Klein says the
other students told him that the sooner he left the school
the better it would be for him, and as he left New-York his
cherished ambition to become a naval architect vanished.
In the initiation last Monday,
Klein says, all the other freshmen had to do was to tell
jokes as they assembled in the gymnasium, while he and
another Jew, from Oil City, Penn., were maltreated. Even
fellow Syracusans, he says, turned against him because of
"They told me," he said, "that
if I stayed in Webb there would be lots of other Jews from
Syracuse who would get in. Monday evening they nicknamed me
'Rabbi,' and started in. They tried to make me ridicule the
Jewish religion and make a fool of me. Then they put a cent
in the bottom of a washtub full of water and made me get it
out with my lips. Then they made me lie down in the middle
of the floor in a great puddle of water and molasses and had
me give an exhibition of swimming., first on my stomach and
then on my back. I was a sight when I got through. Then they
made me roll a peanut around the floor with my nose, and I
skinned my nose.
"Then the initiation was over
for the rest, but I had no sooner got to bed then they
pulled me out and made me go over to another room, where a
lot of students were. I had to stand there and make a fool
of myself for more than an hour. Then they gave me to
understand that they didn't want me there and the quicker I
got out the better."
Professor J. Irving Chaffee,
resident manager of the institution, admitted last night to
a Tribune reporter that Klein had been hazed, but denied
that his religion provoked the hazing, at least as far as he
"The student came here September
18," he said, "and left here on the 26th without notifying
any one. The hazing here is not too severe, I believe; but
at the same time is not allowed if a student complains. Mr.
Klein complained and I assured him that he would not be
hazed any more. His mother came to see me and I tried to
impress on her the same idea. She left apparently satisfied.
Klein said he would stay, but the next morning he left
without a word of explanation. He did not say anything about
religion when he made his formal complaint to me.