Trump’s Shtarkers

by Bob Schwartz

There is news that the offices of Trump’s long-time New York doctor were raided in February 2017 by Trump associates. A great Yiddish word comes immediately to mind: shtarker.

The Hill reports:

President Trump’s longtime personal doctor in New York said a trio of Trump associates raided his office in February 2017, seizing the president’s medical records.

Dr. Harold Bornstein told NBC News that Trump’s bodyguard, Keith Schiller, a lawyer with the Trump Organization and a third man came to his office the morning of Feb. 3, 2017. They took lab reports and Trump’s medical charts, he said.

“They must have been here for 25 minutes or 30 minutes. It created a lot of chaos,” Bornstein said, adding that he felt “raped, frightened and sad.”

Stark in Yiddish means strong, and so one of the usages of shtarker is to mean “strong man” or “tough guy.” But it acquired another, more sinister meaning in the lexicon of crime. A shtarker is a strong-arm man, an enforcer, a thug.

It is a word definitely well-known to the Russian and Eastern European Jews who surrounded Michael Cohen in his family and business (see A Brief History of Michael Cohen’s Criminal Ties . It is a word that may not be known to all of Trump’s people,  but it is a concept that some of them understand, endorse and are not afraid to use.

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