Israel on Tuesday is set to commemorate the 83rd anniversary of the anti-Jewish pogrom that was labeled "Kristallnacht" - the "Night of Broken Glass" - when Nazis, among them many ordinary Germans, terrorized Jews throughout Germany and Austria.
During the pogrom on November 9, 1938, the Nazis killed at least 91 people, vandalized around 7,500 Jewish businesses and burned more than 1,400 synagogues.
To commemorate Kristallnacht, the Holocaust education program International March of the Living launched an initiative known as "Let There Be Light," which encourages people and places of worship to leave their lights on during the night of November 9 to show solidarity with victims of hate.
“Over the last year we have witnessed a frightening rise of global anti-Semitic rhetoric and events,” International March of the Living President Phyllis Greenberg Heideman said on the movement’s website.
“As the torchbearer of memory, the March of the Living’s mission is to remind the world what happens when anti-Semitism is left unchecked.”
In addition, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Tuesday also marked the anniversary of the horrific events. "Nov. 9 is an ambivalent day, a bright and a dark day," Steinmeier said. "It makes our hearts pound and brings tears to our eyes. It makes us hope for the good that is in our country, and it makes us despair in the face of its abysses."
Nov. 9, 1938, is also remembered in Austria. On Tuesday afternoon, the country was set to inaugurate a "Wall of Memories" in Vienna with the names of 64,000 Austrian Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust.
In both Austria and Germany, projections were planned in the evening of synagogues in 18 cities that were destroyed or damaged by the Nazis. The head of Germany's Central Council of Jews, which organizes the virtual reconstructions together with the World Jewish Congress, warned that knowledge of the Kristallnacht events is declining.
"The pogrom of 1938, which at the time did not provoke widespread protests by citizens, should always be remembered in Germany as a warning," Josef Schuster demanded.
First published: 13:30, 11.09.21