Community Commemoration for the 60th Anniversary of Kristallnacht

In lieu of a November meeting many of us attended the Community Commemoration for the 60th Anniversary of Krystallnacht, the Night of the Broken Glass. It was held at the Glen Eira Community Centre on Monday the 9th of November. It was a combined effort organised by the B'nai Brith Victorian, Friends of the Holocaust Museum, Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Jewish Holocaust Museum and Research Centre, Jewish Museum of Australia and Katzetler Farband.

Shmuel Rosenkrantz opened the proceedings with a moving account of his experiences on the night of the 9th of November 1938 in Vienna. He saw the flames reaching the sky and the smoke billowing as the 20 synagogues of Vienna burned. At this moment Jewish Vienna died and the Holocaust began.

Mr Rosenkrantz's introduction was followed by the Liron Choir singing "Ani Ma-avin, I Remember" and "Eli, My G-d". They returned during the ceremony for several more choral pieces. Cedric Gould and John Laurence narrated a history of the events leading up to this terrible night. Carly Marget and Tali Borowski represented the third generation.

The rampage progressively went through Germany and Austria throughout the night of the 9th of November and into the next morning. In 24 hours across Germany and Austria, 191 synagogues were burned and 76 completely destroyed. 7500 Jewish stores and 29 warehouses were destroyed. 200 Jews were murdered, 2000 killed in the next few months and 30,000 Jews were arrested. Germans coined the term "Kristallnacht", chosen to mock and belittle the Jewish people, suggesting the broken glass was glittering like crystal.

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