Kristallnacht 1938-2018

Angela Merkel Quote, July 2018

Angela Merkel recently said that, “When the generation that survived the war is no longer with us, we’ll find out whether we have learned from history” (Newsweek, July 20, 2018).

That time draws ever near, and what have we learned … about totalitarianism? About violence? About resistance?

November 9-10 marks the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht – the “night of broken glass.” These orchestrated attacks against Jewish citizens, shops, and synagogues in Germany mark the onset of violence that led to thousands of concentration and labor camps, six death camps, and genocide with the ultimate loss of millions of lives.

This weekend I will invest time in reading, viewing, and reflecting on the meaning of those times and their significance for our own. For those interested, below are links to a few of the multiple media resources I plan to absorb. There are plenty more available through searches online, plus hashtag pages on Facebook (#Kristallnacht) and Twitter (#Kristallnacht).

May we not let the memories or the markers of this atrocity slip into the darkness, but continue the legacy of shining the spotlight of compassion and justice upon it.

HISTORICAL INFORMATION HUB: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, focus on Kristallnacht.

ARTICLE:“This Is Where Antisemitism Leads,” by Robert Scott Kellner, on Cambridge’s blog. See also the book which he translated and edited, My Opposition: The Diary of Friedrich Kellner – A German against the Third Reich, by Friedrich Kellner (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

PHOTOGRAPHS AND PERSONAL STORY.Auschwitz Memorial introduction and Elisheva Avital family history and photos, Twitter thread.

FAMILY NARRATIVE.Michael Grunwald thread on Twitter.

EYE-WITNESS ACCOUNT.John Izbicki – personal story from when he was eight years old in 1938.

VIDEO CLIP.Now This – four-minute video overview about Kristallnacht, on Twitter.

DOCUMENTARY.The Night of Broken Glass: The November 1938 Pogroms (50 minutes; First Run Features, 2008).

BOOK.48 Hours of Kristallnacht: Night of Destruction/Dawn of the Holocaust, by Mitchell G. Bard, Ph.D. (Lyons Press, 2008).

COMIC BOOK. X-Men: Magneto Testament. If you are an X-Men fan, you know that Max Eisenhardt eventually becomes Magneto. This award-winning compilation comic shares his origin story as a young Jewish boy living in Germany from 1935-1945, going through the events leading up to the Holocaust (including Kristallnacht) and his own imprisonment in the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

4 thoughts on “Kristallnacht 1938-2018

    • Yes, and I think the farther we get historically from the events and the people who were eye witnesses, the more difficult it is to keep the lessons in mind as a legacy. So, these milestones and collecting of resources becomes increasingly important.

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