Kristallnacht remembered

November 9, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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Tonight the Sydney Jewish community will commemorate Kristallnacht – the Night of Broken Glass. The pogrom marked the onset of the Holocaust, when a wave of violence against Jews took place on November 9-10, 1938 in Germany and Austria.

Kristallnacht

Organised by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, the event will feature human rights lawyer George Newhouse, an advocate for Aboriginal rights and Adjunct Law Professor at Macquarie University, as keynote speaker. He was awarded the Ron Castan Humanitarian award this month for his work in advancing human rights and improving access to justice for vulnerable Australians.

Peter Nash will share his family’s experiences of escaping Nazi Germany and fleeing to Shanghai, and Yoni Hochberg, a grandchild to Holocaust survivors, will speak on the Derech Eretz program.

The commemoration will be formally opened by Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff.

The commemoration will have a focus on the connection between the Jewish and Aboriginal communities. The stories shared will reinforce how both the Jewish and Aboriginal communities have faced atrocities and continue to fight in partnership for justice and freedom for all and stand up for the vulnerable.

The commemoration will begin at 6pm at the Sydney Jewish Museum. All welcome.  Inquiries: 9360 1600.

In Melbourne the Jewish Holocaust Centre will host the Betty and Shmuel Rosenkranz Oration tonight at the Glen Eira Town Hall.  The keynote speaker will be Mark Weitzman, Director of Government Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in New York.

Today, Dr. Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the ADC, said: “Still today, as we sombrely remember this dark chapter in history and heartbreaking tragedy, Kristallnacht, which marked the beginning of the Holocaust, stands as an enduring example of how anti-Semitism can quickly spread, infect societies and ordinary individuals, and turn into genocide. In joining the many people and communities around the world who are marking this anniversary, we recall in pain the horrific destruction of Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues, the murder of innocents, and the burning of books and holy objects.

Following Kristallnacht, the mass deportation to concentration camps of Jews, Roma, LGBTI individuals, people with disabilities, and political prisoners began. This Nazi pogrom and the devastation that occurred over two days, reminds us of the importance of combatting all manifestations of intolerance and discrimination, and that this is a good time to recommit to the elimination of the disease of Jewish-bigotry, and to all forms of prejudice and persecution wherever they persist, domestically and globally. As the late Elie Wiesel said, “Killers have always more power than the victims. But we too have power, the power of our conscience.”

Today, we pledge to do the right thing by confronting injustice, mass atrocities and ethnic cleansing directed at vulnerable and powerless minorities with the firm resolve of ‘Never Again’.”

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