Wednesday, November 30, 2011

AT THY HEIGHT THOU HAST FALLEN A VICTIM - Eli Daiches

At the front part of Gate 16 (Anshe Knesses Israel #2) at Jewish Waldheim Cemetery sits an impressive monument.  The bottom of the monument carries a cryptic inscription: "At thy height thou hast fallen a victim".  What happened to Eli Daiches, the rabbi's son?  The answer can be found in the New York Times:

AD FIRM HEAD SLAIN AS HE SITS IN AUTO
Eli Daiches Is Riddled by Machine-Gun Bullets as He Leaves Chicago Hotel.
SAW SLAYERS APPROACH
His Skull Was Fractured and Arms Were Broken in Attack in His Office a Year Ago

Eli Daches, 45 years old, president of the Thomas M. Bowers Advertising Agency, was shot to death this morning by machine-gun assassins who fired a dozen bullets into him as he was riding in his automobile, driven by a chauffeur, a half block from the Sherry Hotel, where he lived.  No motive was established for the slaying.

Police were trying to connect the murder with an assault of Mr. Daiches in his Loop advertising office on the evening of Jan. 24, 1933.  At that time he said he was waiting for his wife, who at present is in Palestine.  Mr. Daiches had been attended recently by a nurse, Miss Lucille Osburn.  She and her fianc√©, C.J. Cronin, 30-years old, a salesman whose home is in Wichita, Kan., had breakfast with Mr. Daiches this morning in his hotel apartment, Mr. Cronin being here on a visit.

The chauffeur told police that Mr. Daiches had seen his slayers approach and apparently recognized them, whereupon he screamed, "Oh my God!"  The next instant he said the blast came from the machine-gun in the other car.

Police showed great interest in the beating of Mr. Daiches a year ago.  At that time he was taken to the Passavant hospital in a critical condition.  Both his arms had been broken and he had suffered twenty-four lacerations and four skull fractures.  Three blood transfusions were performed to save his life.

Mr. Daiches told police after the attack that a man he believed to be a narcotic addict gained entrance to his office at 6 o' clock in the evening and announced he was a robber.  Then the intruder forced Mr. Daiches to stretch out on the floor, after which he struck him on the head several times with a revolver and jumped on the prostrate body.  Police believe that the motive for the attack was personal.

Mr. Daiches appearance was altered as a result of his wounds.  He was reported to have been drinking heavily recently.  He frequently was seen in night clubs, but police were unable to find that he had any particular woman companion.  His business associates reported that no difficulties had been experienced.

Mr. Daiches was born in East Prussia, the son of a rabbi.  He was educated in England, came to Chicago in 1910 and studied law.  He became vice president of the advertising agency some time later and in 1923 became its president.  One of its recently acquired accounts was that of the Royal Distilling Company, but police found there was no difficulty attributable to the acquisition of this account.

Mrs. Daiches, who is prominent socially and in club life, is interested in the Zionist and Palestine movements, the police were told.  She is the former Belle Turner of Chicago.  Her trip was in connection with those interests.  She was believed to be somewhere on the Mediterranean Sea yesterday.  She was greatly interested in Jewish art and was planning to bring back some old country art objects.
The New York Times – March 4, 1934

Narcotics, robbery, beatings, alcohol - life in the fast lane can lead to sudden death.  May the soul of Eli Daiches, the rabbi's son, rest in peace.

Eli Daiches

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