November 7, 7 PM at Temple Israel
Eighty years ago, overnight November 9/10, 1938, Hitler’s war against the Jewish People began. That night, Nazi brown-shirted storm troopers, supported by local citizens rioted through the city streets of Germany and Austria. Their rampage damaged or destroyed Jewish homes, schools, businesses and synagogues. The broken glass strewn across Germany and Austria provided the appellation that has remained connected to that date – Kristallnacht – Night of Broken Glass. The destruction on that November night included 7,500 Jewish homes and businesses, 267 synagogues, 100 Jews had been murdered, and 30,000 men arrested and sent to concentration camps previously used for criminals who had broken the law.
The night of violence and destruction marked the beginning of the Holocaust, Hitler’s plan to systematically eliminate the Jewish people. Suly Chenkin, survivor, educator, and member of Temple Israel, explains: “When the glass broke, shards blew everywhere and blinded people ….” She adds: “Our role is to bring the shards together again, l’taken et ha’olam, to repair the world and make it whole again.”
Every five years, we gather to remember the fear and terror that afflicted the Jewish people until the end of the Nazis’ rule over Europe and Germany.
The hatred which condemned our people under the Hitler regime still echoes throughout our world and in the streets of our United States of America. The White Supremicists’ march on Charlottesville, VA, the recent desecration of App State’s Sukkah, the anti-semitic graffiti in the university’s tunnel and the desecration of the JCC in Virginia prove that the hatred behind Kristallnacht still exists to threaten us and others who are the targets of blind , baseless hatred.
The Kristallnacht Commemoration Committee and Temple Israel wish to thank Jewish Family Services of Greater Charlotte, the Butterfly Project, and the Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social justice for their collaboration and partnership.