Kristallnacht commemoration

October 29, 2012 by Community Editor
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Federal Cabinet Secretary Mark Dreyfus QC MP and Kristallnacht eyewitness Dr Harry Rich will be the keynote speakers at next week’s Kristallnacht ceremony.

A 7-yr-old Harry Reich with his father Karl

Organised by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, the ceremony will mark the 74th anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass, which occurred on November 9-10, 1938 in Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland. Streets were littered with smashed glass from synagogues, Jewish homes and business as an estimated 267 synagogues and 500 Jewish-owned commercial establishments were destroyed, Jewish cemeteries were desecrated, 30,000 Jewish men were deported to concentration camps and 96 Jews were murdered.

Dreyfus, the Member for Isaacs, is a descendant of Holocaust survivors, while Dr Harry Rich formerly (Reich) grew up in Vienna and was aged 12 when Kristallnacht erupted. “Our neighbour, a professor with a silver-tipped cane disappeared, never to be seen again,” Dr Rich recalled. “The noise, the terror, it was frightening.” He left Europe with his parents and a grandparent and they arrived in Sydney in February 1939.

Board of Deputies chief executive officer Vic Alhadeff urged members of the community to attend the ceremony. “Kristallnacht is acknowledged as marking the onset of the Holocaust,” he said. “It set the stage for the carnage which was to follow. Marking the event with a dignified ceremony is therefore very important, and it is appropriate that it be strongly supported.”

The ceremony is supported by a grant from the NSW Community Relations Commission.  It will be held at NCJW Council House on November 8 at 6.30pm. Inquiries: 9360 1600.

Comments

7 Responses to “Kristallnacht commemoration”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    Rita

    ………….there is always something that moves me so intensly when I read you……..

    that something is the deep admiration I always had for German splendour seen in expressions of the greatest humanity, music, literature, humanities in general.
    This occasion as well as any other, should also be used in highlighting the huge numbers of Germans who, just like any Jew, were the victims of cruelties in their own land. It must be known that it was the German Germans, and that applies to Austria, of course, who were the FIRST to suffer at the hands of those murderers who came after the Jews. Well before 1938, immediately after Hitler was appointed Chancelor, Germans opposed to Nazism were rounded up, sent to concentration camps, the first such camp was created a few DAYS after Hitler’s ascension at Dachau, and followed by dozens more in other places. THOUSANDS of Germans were arrested, tortured and KILLED by the SA and SS. Communists and Social Democrats in particular. Thomas Mann, his brother Heinrich, Kleiber, Dietrich etc. were Germans who, just like OUR Rita, were Germans of the greatest quality and virtues who were the utmost opponents of the thugs who committed the well known crimes against the Jews during the Kristalnacht and beyond.
    These are facts that must be known and reminded on such occasions…….

    • Rita says:

      Thank you Otto, I am deeply touched by your generosity and have printed out your post above to keep it:)

      You say that you admire the “German splendour seen in expressions of the greatest humanity, music, literature, humanities in general”. I have the same admiration for the even greater contribution (at least per capita) that the Jewish people brought to the world.

      As for my personal motivation: Although I do have the dubious “alibi” of being born after “it”, I will never ever know how I would have reacted had I lived during this dark period. So, partly to prove to myself that I would have been on “the right side” then, I now speak up whenever I see that ugly ugly ugly anti-Semitism, because, put simplistically: to say nothing is to say yes.

  2. John says:

    Also Fay Sussman will be singing songs of rememberance for the council of Christians and Jews at Martin Place on 9/11/12 at 12.00 noon

  3. The Council of Chrisians and Jews is holding its annual comemoration of Kristallnacht at Martin Place auditorium at noon on Friday November 9th. This event, which has been held at this public venue for more than fifteen years is designed to make the general public aware of the trajedy of this inaguration of the brutalities of the Shoah. Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence will lead the commemoration and Fay Sussman will sing two songs in Yiddish. Schoolchildren from three schools are participating. there is a choir from Emanuel School, and pupils from St Scholasticas and St Andrews. The students will read from the Diary of Anne Frank who was about their age when she wrote her diary.

  4. Rita says:

    Question for the present-day enactors of Kristall Nacht, those who incite a repeat of this shameful period with their hateful attacks on local Jewish businesses: how are you different from those Nazis?

    Yes, I know the pompous euphemisms you use to hide your real agenda, but: “What’s in a name? that which you call a BDS, by any other name would stink as much…”

    No, I am not Jewish, but as a German born, I am horrified to see even Jews emulating what my fathers did to your people.

    • Fionayael says:

      When I voted recently, I took political parties’ stand on BDS into account. When I buy, I try to buy Jewish. And there are some countries in which I shall not spend my holidays because of their stance on BDS.

      • Rita says:

        Ditto all of the above. Brenner’s chocolates are exquisite. Israel cocktail Bretzels yummie. And I always look out for the label “made in Israel”. I even bought some Dead Sea products the other day (they have young Israelis manning them in the Westfield shopping centres), expensive but wonderful and politically kosher 😉

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