Many historians call it “the moment that changed everything,” because they consider it the German Third Reich’s first mass action against Jewish people — and the harbinger of things to come.
On November 9, 1938, anti-Semitic violence swept through Germany, Austria, and part of the occupied Czechoslovakian territories in what is now known as “Kristallnacht” or “The Night of Broken Glass.” As police stood by, Nazis and other anti-Semitic groups destroyed Jewish-owned businesses, wrecked their homes, killed randomly, burned synagogues, and generally brutalized as many Jews as possible.
A few borough activities will mark this anniversary with solemn, but interesting and even uplifting events.
On November 9, Sarah Lawrence College German literature professor Roland Dollinger will discuss Kristallnacht at the Central Queens Y. Then, the Forest Hills venue will screen Hitler’s Children, a documentary on the descendants of high-ranking Nazi leaders and how they struggle with the guilt and their families’ legacies.
The following day, November 10, the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center in Bayside will host a panel discussion with three genocide survivors.
Hanne Liebmann was born in Germany in 1924. She was deported to the Gurs concentration camp in southern France in 1940. While her mother died in Auschwitz, Liebmann was rescued by the Children’s Aid Society and hid in a children’s home before using false papers to cross the border into Switzerland (and safety) in 1943.
Before turning 10, Jacqueline Murekatete had lost her entire family during the 1994 genocide by the Hutus against the Tutsis in the African country Rwanda. Currently, she runs Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner and speaks in forums around the world on her genocide-prevention activities.
As a little girl, Adisada Dudic witnessed a major massacre in Srebrenica, a town in modern day Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1995. Though the area was a United Nations-designated safe haven, Serbian soldiers killed more than 8,000 Bosnians there, while about 20,000 civilians fled. Dudic is currently an attorney in Washington, DC, who specializes in global immigration issues. She also helps maintain an extensive global immigration library.
Another image and information on a third event are on the jump page.