Germany is preparing to commemorate the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the November pogrom, with a series of events and commemorations. Kristallnacht, also known as the Night of Broken Glass, was a series of violent attacks against Jews carried out by the Nazi Party on November 9 and 10, 1938. During the pogrom, nearly 1,400 synagogues were destroyed or damaged, 7,500 Jewish businesses were looted and destroyed, and at least 91 Jews were murdered.
The anniversary of Kristallnacht is a solemn occasion for Germany, as it marks a turning point in the Nazi regime’s persecution of the Jews. The pogrom was a clear demonstration of the Nazi Party’s intention to eliminate the Jewish population from Germany.
This year, Germany is marking the anniversary of Kristallnacht with a number of events, including:
A memorial service at the New Synagogue in Berlin, the largest synagogue in Germany
A speech by the German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier
A torchlight procession through the streets of Berlin
A series of exhibitions and events across Germany
The government is also urging Germans to remember Kristallnacht and to stand up against antisemitism. In a statement released ahead of the anniversary, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: “We remember the victims of Kristallnacht and their families. We remember the violence, the destruction, and the persecution. We remember the suffering and the loss of life.
“We also remember the courage and strength of those who resisted the Nazis. We remember the voices that spoke out against hatred and discrimination. We remember the people who helped Jews escape from Nazi Germany.
“We must never forget Kristallnacht. We must never allow antisemitism to take root in our society again. We must always stand up for the values of tolerance, democracy, and human rights.”
The commemoration of Kristallnacht is an important opportunity for Germany to reflect on its past and to commit to fighting antisemitism in the present. It is a reminder that all forms of hatred and discrimination must be condemned and that we must all work together to create a more just and equitable world.