75 years after Kristallnacht – a Sydney Commemoration

November 6, 2013 by  
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Seventy-five years ago, the first Nazi-legislated riots against Jews took place in Germany and Austria, resulting in mass arrests, killings and deportations, and the destruction of synagogues and Jewish-owned stores. 



This infamous night became known as Kristallnacht – the Night of Broken Glass. The pretext for the pogrom was the shooting by Herschel Grynszpan, a Polish Jewish refugee, of a German diplomat in Paris in response to his family being evicted from Germany.

On Sunday evening the community’s annual commemorative event will be held, organised by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

The guest speaker will be Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane. Of Chinese and Lao extraction, he has written extensively on race and politics as a commentator for mainstream newspapers and as the author of books such as Don’t Go Back To Where You Came From: Why Multiculturalism Works. As a feature of the event, the Embassy of Israel will recognise Josifas and Agripina Meškėnas as Righteous Among the Nations on behalf of Yad Vashem for their courageous actions during the Holocaust.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff: “It’s essential for the community to be there in numbers because of the fact that it’s Kristallnacht – which marked the beginning of the Holocaust. However, it’s also important because we will be using the occasion to honour a couple who displayed the ultimate in humanitarianism in that they saved lives. Recognising such rare courage delivers a very powerful message. In addition, it is a timely occasion for the community to come together in solidarity.”

The ceremony will take place on Sunday, November 10 at 6.30pm at The Great Synagogue, entry on Elizabeth Street. Inquiries: mail@nswjbd.com or 9360 1600. The event is supported by the NSW Community Relations Commission.

Facebook link https://www.facebook.com/events/422976497825177/

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