Murder and memory
That dear old oak in Georgia
The long afterlife of America’s only anti-Semitic lynching
Dec 19th 2015 | MARIETTA | From the print edition
THE old man sat in the synagogue, jiggling his leg as he waited for the story’s grim climax. At last the lecture reached the night in August 1915 when Leo Frank was abducted by a gang, brought to this very neighbourhood, and hanged from a tree. When a list of the lynchers was projected onto the synagogue wall, the old man called out. What did the speaker know of the part played by the Burton brothers, Emmett and Luther? Only, came the reply, that the Burtons rode in the back of the car with Frank as, in his nightshirt and handcuffs, he was driven through the darkness to Marietta, and his death.
老先生坐在那所犹太教堂里一边轻晃着腿，一边等待那个故事恐怖的高潮部分。终于，故事讲到了1915年8月的晚上，当时李奥.弗兰克（Leo Frank）被一伙人绑架，被带到的就是这一片街区，之后从一棵树上被吊死。当参与那次私刑的人员名单被投射到教堂墙上时，那位老先生不禁失声。故事讲者对于柏顿（Burton）兄弟俩－埃米特（Emmett）和 卢瑟（Luther）在这起事件中的所作所为知道多少呢？他的回复就是只知道柏顿兄弟俩和弗兰克坐在车后座上，弗兰克身穿睡衣、手被拷劳，在黑暗中被带到了玛丽埃塔小镇（Marietta，位于美国佐治亚州），也最终命丧于这个地方。
Emmett Burton was my father, the old man said; Luther was my uncle. He wanted everyone at the talk to know that, shortly after that episode, the Burton brothers enlisted in the American army and rode away in a boxcar to fight in the first world war. They were not just a pair of redneck extremists. They didn’t help to kill Frank because he was a Jew, as many then believed and still do. They did it for the little girl who had been murdered.
Reputedly the only anti-Semitic lynching in American history, Frank’s death shocked the country and traumatised its Jews. The tawdry, riveting affair combined skulduggery and shockingly public violence; depravity and courage; atavistic trauma and neuroses about modernity (for which, as they often do, Jews served as avatars). Alive and raw 100 years on, it has acquired new resonances and meanings. Now the case bears witness to the tenacity of the past—at once inescapable and intractable—and asks whether memory always illuminates the present, or rather sometimes poisons it. In the pain that still reverberates on its centenary, the story is a reminder that history can often be wrenchingly personal.
Atlanta, then and now
The case generally goes by Leo Frank’s name, but it began two years before his death, when, on April 26th 1913, Mary Phagan went to collect her pay at the National Pencil Company in Atlanta. In some ways, Georgia’s capital hasn’t changed all that much in the intervening century. Then, as now, its boosters peddled an optimistic version of the city as economically progressive and racially harmonious. Public transport, like the streetcar Mary rode into town, was at least as reliable as today’s. But in other respects the place was less recognisable. April 26th was Confederate Memorial Day, and Atlanta’s parade featured hundreds of real, limping veterans: the civil war’s wounds, physical and psychic, were still tender. Meanwhile the factories that powered the city’s resurgence ran partly on child labour.
事情基本上可以跟着李奥.弗兰克这个名字走，但始于他离世两年前。当日，即1913年4月26日，玛丽.费根（Mary Phagan）去亚特兰大市国立铅笔公司（National Pencil Company）领薪水。我们可以说一个世纪以来佐治亚州的这座首府城市变化并不大。彼时如今日，城市拥趸们以经济进取、种族和谐的乐观形象宣传着这座城市。公共交通呢，像玛丽进城搭乘的电车，那时候至少和今天的一样可靠。但从其它方面来看，这地方变化就大了。4月26日是美国联邦阵亡将士纪念日（Confederate Memorial Day），亚特兰大的节日游行队伍里就有上千名真实的跛行老兵：内战伤员们的身心伤痛依旧。同时，驱动城市兴盛的工厂部分仰仗于童工。
Children such as Mary, who, at 13, had been employed to operate a machine that inserted erasers into the tips of pencils. That lunchtime she received her pay—$1.20—but never left the factory. In the small hours of the next morning she was found in the basement, her head gashed, her dress hitched up, a cord around her neck. Two mysterious notes lay nearby, purportedly written by her and incriminating “a long tall black negro”. “It’s too big a hole to put you in,” Mary’s mother, Fannie, cried at her funeral.
Sixty years later, the memory of “Little Mary”, as she instantly became, could bring her brother, Joshua Phagan, to tears. Mary Phagan Kean—Joshua’s granddaughter and the murdered girl’s great-niece—asked him about her once, in the 1970s. She looked a lot like his long-dead sibling, Joshua told her. But then he began to sob, and she never asked again. When she was born, though, he had requested that she be given his sister’s name. “My family”, Ms Phagan Kean says, “has struggled over this for 100 years.”
60年后，玛丽哥哥约书亚.费根（Joshua Phagan）一想到“小玛丽”（事后人们如此称呼她）还是会哭。约书亚的孙女、被害玛丽的侄孙女玛丽.费根.基恩（Mary Phagan Kean）在1970年代有一次问过爷爷关于她姑婆的事。约书亚告诉孙女，她长得很像自己久逝的妹妹，但约书亚说完就哽咽了，玛丽不再追问。但孙女出生时，约书亚就要求给她起自己妹妹的名字。“我的家族”，费根.基恩女士说，“在这件事上挣扎了100年。”
She spent much of her childhood abroad (her father was in the armed forces) and only learned the awful story when, aged 13 herself, a teacher asked whether she and her namesake were related. Today a room in her home in the apple-growing hills of north Georgia contains an archive-cum-shrine to Mary, holding the memorabilia and research she began to amass as a teenager. Ms Phagan Kean, a retired educationalist, tries to rebut what she sees as misconceptions about the case, insisting, for example, that Mary’s ten-cents-an-hour job was temporary and that the family was respectable. She curates her great-aunt’s memory in a more literal way, tending her grave in the old Confederate cemetery in Marietta, just north of Atlanta and hometown of the child’s extended family (the original Mary’s father died before she was born).
As children’s graves often are, Mary’s is cluttered with toys and miniature angels, at once mawkish and heartbreaking. The gravestone declares the dead girl’s “heroism” to be “an heirloom, than which there is nothing more precious among the old red hills of Georgia”. That is a reference to the theory that she died resisting sexual assault—just as the South itself, many southerners believed, had nobly resisted violation by the north. The botched investigation failed to confirm that hypothesis, along with other key facts. Atlanta’s police were bumbling, brutal and corruptly entwined with its newspapers, which, following William Randolph Hearst’s purchase of the Atlanta Georgian, were themselves embroiled in a reckless circulation war.
就像一般小孩子的坟墓一样，玛丽坟上凌乱堆积着各种玩具和小天使，让人一下子就心生爱怜和痛楚。墓碑上写着这位亡女的“英勇”将会是“祖传之宝，佐治亚红色老丘陵上尚无比此更珍贵之物”。这是参照玛丽死于对抗性侵的说法——这正如很多美国南方人相信南方州崇高抵抗了北方州的冒犯。但糟糕的调查没能证实该假设，其它关键事实依据亦是。亚特兰大的警方愚笨粗暴，并且被当地报纸收买，由于此前威廉.伦道夫.赫斯特（William Randolph Hearst）收购《佐治亚亚特兰大报》（Atlanta Georgian）后，警方自己卷入了草莽的报刊发行量争夺战。
Of the many suspects the police detained, amid a frenzy of tip-offs and slanders, the man charged—because of his allegedly shifty demeanour, as well as groupthink, stubbornness and latent rivalries among police and lawyers—was Leo Frank. Then aged 29, Frank was born in Texas but grew up in New York and studied at Cornell University. He was the pencil factory’s superintendent (his uncle Moses was a shareholder), and, having dispensed Mary’s pay, was the last person to acknowledge seeing her alive. He was also a Jew. “Police Have the Strangler” screeched the Georgian’s front page after his arrest.
Two slugs of evidence helped secure his conviction in a cramped, baking Atlanta courtroom. A gaggle of young women testified that he had previously harassed Mary or themselves. More damning still was Jim Conley, a hard-drinking, heavily indebted factory sweeper with a police record as long as his broom. Lionised as the “ebony chevalier of crime”, Conley claimed to have stood guard while Frank conducted assignations in his office. As Steve Oney relates in “And The Dead Shall Rise”, a superb history of the case, after Conley alleged that his boss had a penchant for oral sex, the judge cleared female spectators from the courtroom. According to Conley, Frank “wanted to be with the little girl” and struck her when she refused; Conley had written the strange notes at Frank’s dictation, and had helped move Mary’s body to the basement.
在亚特兰大局促闷热的法庭上，有两大重要证据帮助确定了对弗兰克的定罪。首先一拨年轻女子证实此前弗兰克骚扰过玛丽或者她们本人。更致命的作证来自吉姆.康利（Jim Conley），这个嗜酒成性、债台高筑的工厂扫地工的警局记录跟他的扫把一样长。他（在法庭上）把自己捧成了“犯罪的黑暗骑士”，声称弗兰克在办公室幽会时他就在门口把守。如斯蒂夫.欧尼（Steve Oney）在《死者将会站起》（“And The Dead Shall Rise”）那篇关于该案的精彩记录所述，康利宣称他的老板有口交性癖后，法官请在场所有女听众离席。据康利所言，弗兰克“喜欢和小姑娘在一起”，还因为玛丽的拒绝殴打了她；称自己在弗兰克口授下写了那两张离奇纸条，还帮忙把玛丽尸体移到地下室。
As the best lies are, his account was rich with idiosyncratic details: of clothes and drinks and dialogue. By contrast, Frank’s statement was nerdy and rambling. The prosecutor timed his summation so that his final word—“Guilty!”—punctuated the chimes of a church clock. The jury obliged, the judge sentenced Frank to death and Atlanta rejoiced.
Frank wasn’t in court for the verdict: everyone agreed the risk of mob violence, should he be acquitted, was too high. His absence informed claims that the whole trial was discredited by prejudice. Certainly both sides dealt in noxious racial stereotypes, sexual and otherwise—of Jews but, even more, of blacks. The defence called Conley “a plain, beastly, drunken, filthy, lying nigger”, arguing that to take his word over a white man’s would be disgraceful; the prosecution relied on the perception that he was too simple to have invented his tale.
Ms Phagan Kean believes Frank was guilty, and that the trial itself was not anti-Semitic. Reports that, as the jury deliberated, crowds chanted “Hang the Jew or we’ll hang you!” are, she points out, apocryphal. But she does not deny the tornado of prejudice that engulfed Frank afterwards. Eminent northern Jews mobilised for his freedom, comparing his predicament to the Dreyfus affair in France. The ferocious response in Georgia was led by Tom Watson, a former congressman and Populist vice-presidential candidate, by then the demagogic publisher of the Jeffersonian. His coverage blended ancient anti-Semitic tropes of Jewish predation and avarice with the resentment of carpet-bagging Yankees to which, as a northern industrialist, Frank was equally vulnerable.
It is an ugly story, but it has its heroes. William Smith, an enlightened lawyer who represented Conley, was one. Analysing the murder-scene notes after the trial, Smith became sure that his own client was their author and had therefore committed the crime—and wrecked his own career by saying so. On his deathbed Smith again affirmed Frank’s innocence. Another was John Slaton, Georgia’s governor and Frank’s last hope after other legal remedies failed. Slaton re-examined the evidence during his final days in office. “I would be a murderer if I allowed that man to hang,” he concluded as he commuted the sentence to life imprisonment. A mob promptly besieged his mansion; Slaton was burned in effigy and reviled as “King of the Jews”. Rumours of secret financial inducements—of “Unlimited Money and Invisible Power”, in Watson’s words—swirled around the case, as, more quietly, they still do.
这是一个丑恶的故事，但自有英雄在。威廉.史密斯（William Smith）就是其中之一，他是一位代表康利的开明律师。史密斯在案件审讯结束后再次分析了案发现场的纸条，逐渐确信自己的当事人（客户）康利就是纸条的始作俑者，因此也是犯罪凶手——史密斯这么说也断送了自己的职业生涯，他在临终前再次肯定弗兰克的清白。另一位英雄约翰.斯莱顿（John Slaton）时任佐治亚州州长，也是弗兰克在其它所有法律补偿受挫后的最后一线希望。他在自己最后的在位时日里重验了案件证据。“倘若我下令绞死这个男人（译注：弗兰克），那我就是杀人凶手，”他在把弗兰克刑罚减成终身监禁后如此总结。随即就有暴徒袭击了斯莱顿府邸，人们烧毁他的肖像，辱骂他是“犹太人的王”（译注：耶稣被钉在十字架上时，头上写着“犹太人的王”）。有传言称个中还存在秘密的金钱诱惑——用沃森的话是关系到“数不尽的钱和看不见的权”——类似谣言一直搅动着这个案件，尽管愈发平息，但影响犹在。
He couldn’t save Frank. Watson demanded his lynching; with unusual premeditation, a vengeful group from Marietta, drawn from families that were (and in many cases, remain) wealthy and well-connected, vowed to accomplish it. Among them were a judge, a sheriff, a mayor, incumbent and former state legislators and a former governor of Georgia. Naturally, they enlisted less prominent men to do most of the dirty work. The recruits included Emmett Burton and his brother Luther.
Those two were not, maintains Emmett Burton’s son (also called Emmett), “two crazy men after a Yankee Jew”. If they had been motivated by prejudice, he and others ask, why didn’t they settle on Conley, the black man? They thought Slaton, who was a partner in the firm of one of Frank’s lawyers, was chasing Jewish business. “He was convicted and his sentence was to hang,” says the surviving Emmett Burton, still a resident of Marietta and now the closest living relative of anyone involved. “What’s the difference in who hung him?” His father’s role was “nothing anybody bragged about”, he says, but nor is it a source of shame. “They just wanted to give that little girl justice.”
Yet along with their perspective on the killings, in private as at the synagogue, Mr Burton urgently wants to relay his forebears’ wider personalities and deeds: to insist, in other words, that a person’s life should not be reckoned by one dark night. He tells a funny story about Emmett senior resisting his regulation buzz-cut after he joined the army and ending up with a stripy bonce; he has the record of his father’s discharge after the first world war, which describes his character as “excellent”. The elder Emmett was a farmer and long-serving police officer, who, says his son, distributed silver dollars to children at Christmas: “Daddy was well thought of.” For his part, Uncle Luther was a champion chequers player; he ran a coal-yard and, during the Depression, gave coal to the poor. He was known as “dollar-bill Burton” for his generosity.
柏顿对于人们对这些凶杀事件的看法，私下里就像在那个犹太教堂，迫切地想让别人知道他家人更全面的性格和生前事迹：换言之，他坚信对一个人的评价不应该由一个黑夜所为而一语定夺。柏顿说了一个老埃米顿的生前趣事，说他当年参军时不想剪军规寸头，结果头发剪成了一段一段的（stripy bonce）。他留有父亲一战结束后的退伍证书，上面形容他父亲的素质是“优秀”。老埃米顿务过农，后来做了很久的警员，他儿子（译注：柏顿，小埃米顿）说“爸爸考虑事情很周到”，圣诞节会给孩子们发银元。在柏顿看来，叔父是个玩西洋跳棋的高手；叔父卢瑟经营过煤场，在美国经济大萧条时期（the Depression）还给穷人送煤，出于他的慷慨大方，人们称他为“美元柏顿”（“dollar-bill Burton”）。
Mr Burton has bills of sale that show his father traded with Jews, and he has photographs. Just as old pictures help to resurrect the victims in the case—Little Mary impishly pretty, Frank pale and fragile, both of them tragically unaware of their impending fates—so do photos of the vigilantes. There is Emmett senior, a lean young man in farm overalls; there he is again, older and in police uniform. To his son, he was not a villain but an upstanding citizen, and a parent. “My father”, Mr Burton says, “was not a low-life drunken monster.”
Just like the old days
On the night of August 16th 1915 the lynching party drove to the state prison at Milledgeville, cut the phone lines, easily subdued the staff—the ringleaders seem to have leaned on prison authorities—and handcuffed and abducted Frank. He sat between Emmett and Luther in the back of one of the convoy’s cars. Local legend has it that the brothers told Frank he would be spared if he confessed. (“That’s Hollywood,” Mr Burton comments dismissively. “Why would they say that?”) Near dawn, on the outskirts of Marietta at a place called Frey’s Gin, named for the former sheriff who owned the land, the lynchers looped a rope around the bough of an oak tree and perched Frank on a table. A fellow prisoner had tried to cut his throat, so his last words may have been hoarse: “I think more of my wife and my mother than I do of my own life.” It wasn’t a long drop and he didn’t die quickly.
时至1915年8月16日深夜，欲行私刑的一伙人开车到了位于米利奇维尔（Milledgeville）的州立监狱，剪断了电话线，轻松制服了狱卒——那帮人的头子似乎还讹诈了监狱当局——之后他们铐走了弗兰克，将之劫持。弗兰克被夹在埃米特和卢瑟中间，一起坐在一辆随行车辆的后座上。当地有谣言称柏顿兄弟俩对弗兰克说如果他认罪就放了他。（“那是好莱坞的剧情，” 柏顿先生对此不予置评。“他们为什么要那么说？”）临近黎明时分，在玛丽埃塔郊外一个叫“弗雷的杜松子酒”（Frey’s Gin）（得名于曾拥有那片土地的前地方司法官）的地方，私刑者将一根绳子绕过一棵橡树大枝，让弗兰克站在桌子上。一个同谋犯还试图割弗兰克的喉咙，所以他的临终遗言说得可能很沙哑，他说：“比起我自己的命，我更在乎我妻子和我母亲的。”吊下来的位置不高，弗兰克并没有立刻西去。
A large crowd soon gathered: lynchings, like other forms of terrorism, were above all public spectacles. After it was cut down, Frank’s body had to be wrestled away from the mob, like some Southern Gothic version of a scene from the “Iliad”. Pieces of tree and rope—though not, as in some instances, pieces of the victim himself—were taken as souvenirs. Thousands more people viewed the corpse at the undertaker’s in Atlanta, just as thousands had filed past Mary’s. “The Wages of Sin is Death,” crowed Watson in the Jeffersonian. “Semper Idem” reads the gnomic Latin inscription on Frank’s headstone in New York: “Always the same”.
Today the lynching site is a patch of noisy scrubland in the shadow of an interstate flyover. Unlike the nearby Big Chicken, a giant mechanical rooster that nests on a fast-food restaurant and is a Marietta landmark, the place is unheralded and overlooked, as well as overgrown. The trees themselves are long gone (though for a while part of Frank’s bloodied nightshirt was displayed at a bar up the road). So are the plaques affixed by Rabbi Steven Lebow to the side of an adjacent office building, since demolished. Still, for the past 20 years, on the anniversary of the lynching Mr Lebow has said kaddish, the Jewish prayer of mourning, for Frank on this spot; in recent years he has said it for Mary, too. He keeps the plaques in his room at Marietta’s Kol Emeth synagogue.
如今那个私刑处成了一片灌木丛，处在喧嚣的州际高架的庇荫下。不像附近那个栖于一家速食店顶上的巨型机械公鸡，人称“大鸡”，是玛丽埃塔的一个地标，私刑处毫不起眼、易被忽略、也杂草丛生，那些树早就没了（尽管弗兰克血迹斑斑的睡衣零头曾有段时间被放在一个路边护栏上）。被犹太拉比史蒂夫.雷柏（Steven Lebow）订在附近一座办公楼的纪念牌匾也在楼房被拆后没了。过去20年里，每年一到私刑日雷柏先生就会在此为弗兰克做kaddish，那是犹太传统祷告，近几年他说那也是为了小玛丽。他现在还留着那些牌匾，放在他在玛丽埃塔Kol Emeth教堂内的卧室里。
Mr Lebow grew up in Florida and moved to Marietta in 1986, peripherally aware of the Frank affair from studying and teaching Jewish history. His interest was galvanised two years later by the broadcast of a mini-series about it, starring Jack Lemmon as Slaton. He realised that he was passing the lynching site every day on his way to the synagogue. After he put up the plaques, he would occasionally trim the foliage around them in the middle of the night. Sometimes he walks his dog here. “A rabbi”, says Mr Lebow, “is a professional rememberer.” And, in Frank’s case, for a long time everyone else wanted to forget.
That included America’s Jews. Initially there was uproar—among Jews who thought such bloodletting belonged in old Europe, and those gentile Americans who agreed. From a modern perspective, the killers’ impunity was even more shocking than the crime. Many photographs were taken, which soon circulated as postcards, as was customary. None of the smiling faces around the dangling corpse is covered. Yet no one was punished—not surprisingly, since the investigation was overseen by one of the conspirators, and the grand jury convened to consider the case was stuffed with them. On the contrary, some of them benefited. Watson became a senator; the circulation of his Jeffersonian rocketed. The prosecutor at the trial became governor of Georgia. The broader cause of American racism was fatefully buoyed as well. Several of the participants joined the posse which, three months later, ascended Stone Mountain, just outside Atlanta, to burn a huge cross, marking the rebirth, after a 45-year hiatus, of the Ku Klux Klan. Luther Burton later signed up.
那些人也包括犹太裔美国人。起初犹太人里是有骚动的——那些犹太人认为这种放血似的残杀事件只属于古欧洲，非犹太裔美国人也同意这一点。以现代观点来看，刽子手不受刑罚甚至比罪行本身更令人震惊。拍摄的很多涉案照片像明信片一样迅速传播，（人们）好像已习以为常。（照片上）围在悬空尸体旁的群众笑脸没有一张被遮住，也没有任何人受到惩罚——这也不稀奇，因为案件本身由同谋之一监管调查，召集在一起考量案件的陪审团也由这些人组成。反之，其中一些人还获益不少。沃森成了参议员，他操办的《杰弗逊主义者报》销量飙升，案件审讯公诉人做了佐治亚州州长。更广层面的美国种族歧视起因也宿命似的浮出水面。三个月后好几个死刑参与者结伙登上了石山（Stone Mountain），就在亚特兰大市外，去那里烧掉一个巨型十字架，纪念时隔45年的三K党（Ku Klux Klan）重生，卢瑟.柏顿后来也加入其中。（译注：三K党是美国种族主义的代表性组织）
But for Jews in Marietta and Atlanta, the legacy was a strangulating compound of fear and shame. Jewish businesses were vandalised and some Jews harassed. Many fled, their hopes of amicable integration undone. Chuck Marcus, a great-nephew of Lucille Frank, Leo’s widow, says his father Alan, a child in 1915, remembered leaving Atlanta in a wagon in the middle of the night; the family’s lives were marred for ever, Mr Marcus says. He himself knew nothing about the calamity until Lucille died in 1957 (she mostly stayed in Atlanta, working at the glove counter of a department store, where her customers included wives and daughters of her husband’s killers). Forever wary of unwanted attention, Lucille asked to be cremated. For months Alan Marcus kept her ashes in the boot of his car; eventually, in secret, he and his brother buried them between her parents’ gravestones.
但对于住在玛丽埃塔和亚特兰大的犹太人来说，案件留给他们的是混杂恐惧和耻辱的致命毒药。他们的生意被肆意破坏，一些被骚扰，不少逃离了那里，他们和当地人和谐共处的愿望也没了。查克.马尔库斯（Chuck Marcus）是李奥.弗兰克遗孀露西尔.弗兰克（Lucille Frank）的侄孙，他说他父亲艾伦（Alan）还记得1915年自己还是个孩子时，在深夜时分坐着马车和父母离开亚特兰大的情景。马尔库斯先生说这一家自此永远背负着污名过活。他自己是到露西尔1957年去世前才知道这场灾难的（生前露西尔大多时候呆在亚特兰大，她就职于一家百货商店，在卖手套的柜台，而她顾客中甚至有杀她丈夫的凶手的妻女）。露西尔对多余关注永远保持警惕，她想死后火葬。艾伦.马尔库斯就把她的骨灰藏在汽车轮胎胎垫里藏了几个月，最终和他兄弟秘密地把那骨灰埋进了露西尔父母的墓碑中间。
One in six million
Just as Atlanta’s Jews preferred not to talk about Frank, so, for different reasons, did the lynchers. The case receded from public consciousness, but it didn’t die. In 1982 Alonzo Mann—then 83, but in 1913 an office boy at the National Pencil Company—came forward to say that, on the day of the murder, he had seen Conley carrying Mary’s body, in circumstances that contradicted the sweeper’s testimony. Conley had threatened him, Mann said, and his parents had enjoined him not to tell anyone. That set off a push for a posthumous pardon. Even then, some elderly Jews were opposed to the effort, for fear of raising old demons. Evidently those nerves were justified. Roy Barnes—then a political ally of Georgia’s governor, a job he later did himself—says that influential people lobbied against the initiative. Anti-Semitism infected the debate.
随着亚特兰大的犹太人开始不再谈论弗兰克时，那些私刑人出于各种原因也不去谈他了。这起案件慢慢淡出了公众视野，但它并没有销声匿迹。1982年，时年83岁的阿隆佐.曼恩（Alonzo Mann）站出来发声，1913年他是那个国立铅笔公司的办公室小弟。曼恩说谋杀案当天，他看见康利提着玛丽尸体，这就和扫地工康利的证词起冲突了。曼恩还说康利当时威胁过他，他父母也令他对任何人都闭口不谈此事。那引发了对弗兰克死后罪行赦免的呼声。但即便那时候还有一些年长的犹太人反对赦免行动，他们害怕那会唤醒旧时恶魔。很显然他们的紧张因子合情合理。后来的佐治亚州州长、当时的州长政治盟友罗伊.巴恩斯（Roy Barnes）说有影响力的大人物在议会上游说反对赦免。反犹之风牵连着政府辩论。
In 1986 a pardon was granted, on the basis not of Frank’s innocence but that the state had failed to protect him. Then, in 2000, a list of the lynchers, originally compiled by Ms Phagan Kean, found its way onto the internet. Several such rosters were put together over the years—characteristically for a case in which everything is doubled. It has two murders, two Leo Franks (innocent and perverted), two Atlantas (bustling and barbaric). But this was the first to be published. Among those who learned only in the 21st century that their family was complicit was Governor Barnes’s wife, whose grandfather was on the lists. She was ashamed.Still it isn’t over. At a moving memorial service in August, Mr Lebow and assorted Georgian judges called for Frank to be fully and finally exonerated by the state. “It is not possible to make the future good”, the rabbi told what, these days, is Marietta’s thriving Jewish community, “unless we are willing to make the past right.” Over the summer a roadside billboard proclaimed Frank’s innocence. Once again, there are dissenters.
Mr Lebow and Ms Phagan Kean, Little Mary’s great-niece, have clashed in the past. Why, she asks, is the rabbi so interested in a case to which he has no direct connection? And indeed there is something quixotic about this focus on a 100-year-old incident when so much else has befallen the world’s Jews and, for that matter, Georgia. Altogether 22 people were lynched in the state in 1915, including John Riggins—a black man, like all the mobs’ other victims—who was killed on the same day as Frank. Georgia lagged behind only Mississippi in that abhorrent pursuit. For all the guff about progress, dozens of blacks were massacred in Atlanta itself during a racist pogrom in 1906, just a few years before the Phagan-Frank saga began.
The rabbi thinks Frank’s fate emblematic of all these injustices, from the atrocities of the Jim Crow era to contemporary police violence. That view is endorsed by civil-rights leaders such as John Lewis, a congressman whose skull was fractured on the bridge in Selma in 1965, and who agrees that “racism and anti-Semitism are one and the same”. Mr Lebow himself has fought other battles. He first got involved in civil-rights issues after the county commission passed a homophobic resolution in the 1990s.
拉比雷柏认为从美国种族隔离时代（Jim Crow era）到时下的警方暴力，在这些所有不公正中弗兰克的命运具有代表性。这个观点受到一些民权领袖的认可，比如约翰.李维斯（John Lewis），1965年这位国会议员的头颅骨在塞尔玛镇（Selma）某桥上被粉碎一空，他认同“种族主义和反犹主义是一码事”这个观点。雷柏先生自己也在其它阵地斗争过，他第一次卷入民权问题是1990年代其所在县委会通过一项恐同决议之后。
But he acknowledges that his devotion to Frank’s cause has a psychological component, too. He has no extended family: many of his relatives died in the Holocaust, leaving the American branch with only another set of painfully inadequate black-and-white photographs. All that wider suffering is not a contradiction of his mission, he reasons, but an explanation. “This is my one small corner of the world that I can attempt to put right,” the rabbi says. “I can’t do anything about the 6m, but this one has a name and a face I know.”
Leo Frank, the musical
Gruesome as their deaths were, Mary Phagan and Leo Frank have inspired many artists. Besides the television series and other screen adaptations, there are the songs. Fiddlin’ John Carson, balladeer of the poor, rural whites who swelled Atlanta’s population at the turn of the 20th century, wrote several. In the lyrics of the best-known, Frank “laughed and said, Little Mary,/You’ve met your fatal doom”. Carson sang that on the steps of the state capitol as the governor weighed the condemned man’s life. Another of his ditties celebrated the “Dear Old Oak in Georgia” from which Frank was hanged.
尽管玛丽.费根和李奥.弗兰克等人的离世往事骇人听闻，但他们启发了很多艺术家。除了一些电视剧和其它的荧幕改编之外，还有歌曲。出身贫寒的乡村白人民谣歌手费德林.约翰.卡森（Fiddlin’ John Carson）就写了多首有关于此的歌曲，他在20世纪转折期席卷亚特兰大。在最为人熟知的歌词中，他写道弗兰克“笑着说，小玛丽啊，／你经历过那致命劫数了”（“laughed and said, Little Mary,/You’ve met your fatal doom”）。在佐治亚州州长判决被定罪者的命运时，卡森在州议会建筑的台阶上吟唱了这首歌。他还有一首叫“佐治亚那棵亲爱的老橡树”就取材自弗兰克被绞死的那棵。
Then there is “Parade”, a musical that premiered on Broadway in 1998 and was later a hit in London. In November students at Kennesaw State University revived it for one night in Marietta, part of a series of centennial events organised by the university and the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History. “Parade” emphasises Georgia’s lingering Confederate sentiment and Frank’s incongruous northernness: he cannot bear Atlanta’s “magnolia trees and endless sunshine”. Alfred Uhry, the librettist, is the great-nephew of the National Pencil Company’s biggest shareholder. As a child he knew Lucille Frank, he recalls, but when Leo was mentioned older family members would leave the room. The theatre stands on the square where, 100 years ago, jubilant townsfolk gathered after the lynching.
还有1998年在百老汇首演的音乐剧“游行”（“Parade”），之后在伦敦大红。11月一天晚上来自肯尼索州立大学（Kennesaw State University）的学生们在玛丽埃塔镇重演了这部剧，一系列百年纪念活动中有些也由该校和美国南部内战和火车头历史博物馆（Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History）联合组织。“游行”（“Parade”）这部剧突出了佐治亚州挥之不去的南部邦联情怀和弗兰克那不和谐的北方身份：他受不了亚特兰大的“木兰树和无止尽的阳光照射”。本剧作者阿尔弗雷德.阿哈里（Alfred Uhry）是当年国立铅笔公司最大股东的侄孙，他回忆说自己还是小孩子时就知道露西尔.弗兰克了，但一有人提到李奥，家里长辈就会走开。而一百年前，私刑后欢欣鼓舞的镇民们正是在剧院广场那里庆祝。
As Mr Oney, the author, puts it, alone among Americans southerners are constantly stumbling over partly open graves, endlessly confronting the sins of previous generations. Some would prefer this particular trauma to be irrevocably interred. “The Phagan family”, insists Ms Phagan Kean, “wants this to die.” She was in the theatre for “Parade” and was distressed by its portrayals of Little Mary as flirtatious and her mother Fannie as anti-Semitic. “They don’t realise how much pain they cause,” Ms Phagan Kean says. She rebuffs the overtures of far-right groups who try to exploit her great-aunt’s death: the Klan once marched to the cemetery (some of the lynchers are buried there too), and on the internet Frank is a pin-up for white supremacists. Equally, though, she passionately opposes his exoneration. Somehow she believes that those advocating it dishonour Mary’s memory. If the rabbi gets his way, she says, she will erect a marker declaring Frank the murderer: “I’m not going to stop.”
A century on, conclusive proof is impossible. What is clear is that the trial was unfair—by the standards of its own time, let alone today’s. The prosecution suppressed evidence that favoured Frank; prejudicial testimony was admitted; several damning witnesses later recanted. Conley—who did ten months on a chain gang as an accessory, but was soon back inside—lied incessantly. At first he claimed to be illiterate, admitting he wrote the notes only after his handwriting was identified; his story changed drastically under police tutelage. Almost certainly he killed Mary himself, realised that someone would have to swing, and saw a way for that to be Frank. But probably only he, Frank and Mary could ever have said for sure.
Some things will never see the light of day. “All I know”, says Mr Burton, “is that it didn’t happen like they’re saying.” Coincidentally he is an expert on vintage cars—for 35 years he supplied vehicles for films—and he is convinced his father, uncle and the rest couldn’t have got to Milledgeville and back in the way conventional accounts of that night describe. He believes the conspiracy was even wider, and blame more diffuse, than it appears. But he knows it is too late for further resolution. “There’s nothing that can be done now,” Mr Burton says. “It’s all been done.” Most of all, he “would like for it never to be discussed again by anybody.”
Frank was not talked about in the Burton household. But, in a tangible way, he was always there, and still is. In the dresser in the master bedroom there was a drawer that was always locked. Inside the drawer there was a box, also locked. In the box, Mr Burton says, were the handcuffs his father put on Frank’s wrists at the prison and took off him when he was dead. He still has the handcuffs, though he declines to produce them. “Nobody”, he says, “will ever lay their eyes on them.”
From the print edition: Christmas Specials
亚特兰大, brought, memory, 佐治亚, 美国