28 January 2020 - 3 Shevat 5780 - ג' שבט ה' אלפים תש"פ
Commemorating the 80th anniversary Kristallnacht pogroms E-mail

The World Jewish Congress(WJC) on Friday 9 November commemorated the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass), the 1938 Naziled pogroms in which more than 1,000 synagogues were burned, windows smashed, shops looted, and individual Jews rounded up to be sent to concentration camps. Four hundred people were killed in the pogroms.

“Eighty years ago, the Nazis unleashed a series of horrific attacks against the Jewish population in Germany and Austria, desecrating property and destroying lives and livelihood, a violent offensive that was followed by an intense escalation of the Nazis’ anti-Jewish policies, and ultimately the near genocide of European Jewry,” said Ronald S. Lauder, WJC President.

“It would be impossible to mark this seminal event in Jewish history without noting the frightening climate of Anti-Semitism and xenophobia currently spreading across Europe and the US,” Lauder said. “The far-right is gaining power at an alarming speed, and neoNazis are feeling emboldened to march in the streets shouting hateful slurs and advocating the most dangerous brands of nationalism and hatred.”

“Just last week, 11 people were brutally murdered at a synagogue in a quiet and safe neighborhood in Pittsburgh, just for being Jewish, an attack that for most American Jews was beyond unthinkable,” Lauder said. “In Europe, synagogues and Jewish property are routinely targeted by Anti-Semitic vandals and criminals, with firebombs hurled at buildings and anti-Jewish graffiti scrawled on walls.”

“It would also be impossible to mark the anniversary of Kristallnacht without noting the critical difference between 9 November 1938 and 9 November 2018,” Lauder said. “In 1938, firemen stood idly by to ensure that the flames remained contained to inflict maximum damage on Jewish property alone. Police helped rioters loot and attack, goading them on and aiding their aggression. In 1938, the incursion against the Jewish community was designed, promoted, and handled by the government in a direct and systemic attempt to destroy the Jewish presence.”

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