Remembering their experiences and understanding the lessons: Kristallnacht 2015

November 4, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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The remarkable true story of the enduring friendship between two men will form the centrepiece of the keynote address at a Holocaust ceremony in Sydney on Sunday evening.

Cheryl Koenig

Cheryl Koenig

Organised by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, the 77th anniversary of Kristallnacht – which marked the onset of the Holocaust – will be commemorated on Sunday November 8 at 6pm in the Sydney Jewish Museum’s Education Centre.

The Consul Generals of Austria and Germany will attend, as will representatives from numerous interfaith partners. Guests will hear testimonies from Dr Joachim Schneiweiss and Robyn Bloom, who will speak of her late father Gerry Levy, a former president of the Board of Deputies.

The keynote address will be given by author Cheryl Koenig, the 2009 NSW Woman of the Year. Koenig is the author of four books, her most recent, With Just One Suitcase, detailing the stories of her father and father-in law – one, a Jewish youth from Hungary and the other a kind-hearted Catholic boy who lived a few kilometres away – and their remarkable reconnection in Sydney.

The commemoration will also include musical performances by The Great Synagogue’s cantor, Josh Weinberger, accompanied by Robert Teicher and David Politzer.

“Kristallnacht awakened many Jews to the harsh reality that antisemitism was not a passing phenomenon, but represented a mortal threat,” said Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff. “It prompted many to emigrate, but tragically, thousands could not.
“It is important to pause to mark this occasion, given its place in history as the beginning of the Holocaust. We encourage community members to be there.”

The event is hosted by the Board of Deputies together with the Sydney Jewish Museum and the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and & Descendants.

It has been made possible because of grants from Multicultural NSW, Bnai Brith Trust, City of Sydney and the JCA Millie Philips Trust.

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