The aftermath of Kristallnacht in Berlin, November 1938
The aftermath of Kristallnacht in Berlin, November 1938
Photo: Getty Images
The aftermath of Kristallnacht in Berlin, November 1938

Marking Kristallnacht anniversary with anti-racism drive

'Let There Be Light' initiative asking people, places and houses of worship to illuminate their buildings on Nov. 9 'as symbol of solidarity and mutual commitment in shared battle against anti-Semitism, racism, hatred and intolerance'

Ynet |
Published: 10.25.20 , 12:03
The March of the Living Holocaust education program will this year mark the 82nd anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom against German and Austrian Jews with a global interfaith initiative called “Let There Be Light."
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  • Kristallnacht, called the "Night of the Broken Glass" due to the systematic destruction of Jewish property, was a large-scale attack in 1938 that many historians consider the opening shot in the Nazi-led campaign to exterminate the Jews of Europe.
    The aftermath of Kristallnacht in Berlin, November 1938 The aftermath of Kristallnacht in Berlin, November 1938
    The aftermath of Kristallnacht in Berlin, November 1938
    (Photo: Getty Images)
    Some 400 Jews were murdered and 30,000 others expelled - some to extermination camps - during the night between November 9-10, while hundreds of synagogues and thousands of Jewish businesses were destroyed.
    This year, March of the Living is asking people, institutions and houses of worship all over the world to leave their lights throughout the night of November 9, "as a symbol of solidarity and mutual commitment in the shared battle against anti-Semitism, racism, hatred and intolerance."
    Among the locations participating in the event is the main Westend Synagogue in Frankfurt, which was one of the few German synagogues not destroyed on Kristallnacht.
    Frankfurt synagogue Frankfurt synagogue
    Frankfurt's Westend Synagogue
    (Photo: Rafael Herlich)
    "Anti-Semitism and racism threaten our society as a whole, they endanger our values and our democracy," said the head of Frankfurt Jewish community, Dr. Salomon Korn.
    "Together we want to send a signal against the increase of anti-Semitism and hate-speech all over the world. We want to raise awareness against growing discrimination and intolerance and bring the light of humanity in these difficult times," he said.
    In Israel, personal messages and prayers from the virtual campaign will be projected on the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.
    The initiative is inviting people from all over the world - regardless of ethnicity, religion or background - to add their own messages to the campaign of hope by visiting its website.
    The messages left on the 'Let There Be Light' website The messages left on the 'Let There Be Light' website
    Some of the messages left on the 'Let There Be Light' website
    (Photo: Screenshot)
    The president of March of the Living, Phyllis Greenberg Heideman and the chair of March of the Living World, Dr. Shmuel Rosenman, said the initiative was an opportunity to speak out against oppression today.
    "We must use our voices to tell the world that attacks on Jews and non-Jews alike, whether on the basis of religion, race, color or creed are inexcusable. In the days when synagogues and holy places for various religions are attacked on a regular basis all over the world, it is our duty to speak out loudly and clearly," the two said in a joint statement.
    The March of the Living, which normally sends annual delegations to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland, is the world's largest annual international Holocaust education program.
    מצעד החיים אושוויץ פוליןמצעד החיים אושוויץ פולין
    A Holocaust survivor holds up a Torah scroll at the gates of Auschwitz death camp during the March of the Living
    (Photo: EPA)
    The event is considered a major part of the commemorations for Israel's annual Holocaust Remembrance Day and has seen more than 300,000 people from 52 countries participate in the 3km memorial march along the railroad tracks from Auschwitz to the Birkenau extermination camp.
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