Brisbane commemorates Kristallnacht

November 14, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
Read on for article

More than 100 southeast Queensland residents have attended a moving Kristallnacht service at the Brisbane Hebrew Congregation.

Commemorating Kristallnacht

The evening featured Kristallnacht survivor Professor Edgar Gold, who shared his memories, as a four-year-old living in Hamburg, from this devastating event.

Mr Gold said one of his vivid memories was the look of hatred and anger by the Nazi soldiers.

“My main fear now is that some of these horrors are being forgotten from the world,” he said.

Mr Gold said it was important schoolchildren were exposed to history to ensure this never happened again.

Brigidine College is one school that is committed to remembering the atrocities of the Kristallnacht, the precursor to the Holocaust. Brigidine student Rosie Pope discussed her project, which is part of Suspend Judgement – an extracurricular program about the Holocaust

Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies president Paul Myers said events like Kristallnacht served as a reminder of the importance of both Holocaust education and how civil societies can easily fall victim to hatred and antisemitism.

“Right here in Brisbane, we’ve had the ultimate symbol of hate, the swastika, flown next to our synagogue. One of our Jewish dads was attacked on his way to synagogue. Sadly, a survey of our community shows the majority of respondents have been victimised by antisemitism,” Mr Myers said.

That’s why it is vital to acknowledge events like Kristallnacht, as they serve as a sober reminder of what can happen when hatred is allowed to flourish.”

Paul  Myers said he was overwhelmed by the turnout, not only by representatives from state and local government but also by members of the interfaith communities.

The evening also included local author and master of ceremonies Rochy Miller, University of Queensland academic Katherine Gelber, and musical performances by the Vox Populous Choir.

Ms Miller, who has written a book about her mother’s experience during Kristallnacht, said this event marked the beginning of accepted hatred.

“Kristallnacht defined the moment when a line was drawn in the sand of time – the exact moment when Jewish people all over the world stopped being people and became merely Jews. The moment when citizens all over the world became complicit bystanders, allowing creeping antisemitism to go unchecked until it crescendoed into the unmitigated horror of the Holocaust – systematic murder of innocent people, based solely on their ethnicity.”

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.