Chattanooga Jewish Community Moves On After Joseph Franklin's Synagogue Bombing

Reported by: James Mahon
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Updated: 11/18/2013 7:14 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN, (WDEF)-White supremacist Joseph Paul Franklin of Mobile Alabama is the man responsible for the 1977 bombing of a Chattanooga Synagogue.

The 63 year old is on death row facing execution at noon this coming Wednesday.

Michael Dzik, Jewish Federation of Chattanooga, "I Do think it transformed us a little bit, there's a lot of  history, the Jewish community has been here since the 1860s in Chattanooga"

Dzik was only a child when Franklin visited Chattanooga but says their community has moved on.

"For something like that to happen as tragic as it was we have turned that into so many positive things we have grown the Jewish community"

Franklin is responsible for killing over 20 people and also wounding Larry Flynt throughout the 70s and 80s.

Fortunately only 9 people turned up for the prayer on the eve of the bombing, prayer was cancelled and there were no injuries or casualties"

UTC professor Irven Resnick says he received hate mail and death threats as recently as the 1990s when Denying the Holocaust author Deborah Lipstadt spoke to his students.

"These were materials that were sent from right wing organizations, groups that identified themselves as Christian militias, Christian organizations, Christian patriotic organizations, which essentially, I would identify them as Neo-Nazi or at least fellow travelers"

Awarding Winning Jewish author Deborah Levine has penned a book on how to deal with those with racial and Anti-Semitic views.

She believes there has been an increase in white power organizations in recent years.

"It is also a resurgence because our economics are chaotic, many people are suffering and you find throughout history  when that happens, the rise in hate groups also happens"

Among Franklin's most infamous crimes are the murdering of two African-American joggers and the shooting dead of Bryant Tatum near a Chattanooga Pizza Hut.

In a bizarre twist former magazine publisher Larry Flynt only last month released a statement requesting Franklin to be removed from Death Row.

The Missouri Attorney General has stated the execution is an important step to see that justice is done for the victims and families of Franklin's 20 victims from across the south.

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