Bri­tain stops to re­mem­ber

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

THE UNITED Syn­a­gogue is en­cour­ag­ing shuls and com­mu­nity mem­bers to mark the 80th an­niver­sary of Kristall­nacht this week by leav­ing a light on over Shab­bat.

The ‘Leave the lights on’ cam­paign is de­signed to com­mem­o­rate the first of­fi­cial Nazi pogrom, when over 250 shuls were set alight and 7,500 Jewish busi­nesses de­stroyed.

Steven Wil­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the United Syn­a­gogue, said: “We must re­mem­ber the event for what it was: a pogrom, an or­gan­ised vi­o­lent at­tack on the Jewish com­mu­nity.

“Eighty years ago, hun­dreds of Jewish build­ings burned through the night as fire crews were ex­pressly for­bid­den to dampen the flames. This Shab­bat, shuls across the coun­try will com­mem­o­rate the pogrom by choos­ing to leave a light burn­ing brightly through the night.

“In­di­vid­u­als are wel­come to do so too in their own homes. The Nazi party is con­signed to the his­tory books. The Jewish peo­ple live on. Am Yis­rael Chai.”

Gaby Glass­man, chair of the Yom Hashoah Com­mit­tee of Pin­ner Syn­a­gogue, and a trustee of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Jewish Refugees (AJR), said she would be tak­ing part be­cause it is im­por­tant to teach oth­ers about the mes­sage from Kristall­nacht: to not stand by.

“Kristall­nacht sig­ni­fied the start of the Nazi’s overt and wide­spread dis­crim­i­na­tion against the Jews.

“What started as the burn­ing of books and build­ings soon be­came the burn­ing of bod­ies — again with min­i­mal re­sponse. As ever, what started with the per­se­cu­tion of the Jews soon en­veloped many oth­ers.

“In Ger­many and Aus­tria, on Novem­ber 9 1938, our com­mu­nity syn­a­gogues were il­lu­mi­nated. On Novem­ber 9 2018 we choose to il­lu­mi­nate our syn­a­gogues to re­mem­ber what hap­pened 80 years ago.”

A num­ber of events com­mem­o­rat­ing Kristall­nacht’s 80th are tak­ing place around the UK this week, in ad­di­tion to sev­eral mark­ing the 80th an­niver­sary of the kinder­trans­port, which saw the UK take in over 10,000 Jewish refugee chil­dren in the wake of the pogroms. THURS­DAY, NOVEM­BER 8

In Lon­don, a Ser­vice of Solemn Re­mem­brance and Hope to re­mem­ber Kristall­nacht was due to take place at West­min­ster Abbey at 6.30pm.

FRI­DAY, NOVEM­BER 9

The ‘Leave the lights on’ cam­paign — whereby shuls will com­mem­o­rate Kristall­nacht by leav­ing a light il­lu­mi­nated over Shab­bat — will be adopted by syn­a­gogues around the coun­try.

THURS­DAY, NOVEM­BER 15

A com­mem­o­ra­tion or­gan­ised by the Safe Pas­sage move­ment and hosted by Lord Alf Dubs, who ar­rived to the UK on the kinder­trans­port, will be held at Friends Meet­ing House in recog­ni­tion of the piv­otal role played by the Quak­ers in or­ches­trat­ing the refugee trains.

The date marks the an­niver­sary of the Quak­ers’ meet­ing on 15 Novem­ber 1938 with the then Home Sec­re­tary in re­sponse to Kristall­nacht.

Sir Ni­cholas Winton was in­stru­men­tal in or­gan­is­ing the res­cue of thou­sands of chil­dren, mostly Jewish, from Ger­many, Aus­tria, Cze­choslo­vakia and Poland.

TUES­DAY, NOVEM­BER 20

On Tues­day 20 Novem­ber a re­cep­tion at St James’s Palace hosted by HRH Prince Charles will take part for around 100 kin­der.

WED­NES­DAY, NOVEM­BER 21

A re­cep­tion will take place at The State Rooms, Speaker’s House, House of Com­mons. MPs will nar­rate ex­cerpts from the de­bate which started on 21 Novem­ber 1938 that led to the cre­ation of the kinder­trans­port.

SUN­DAY, DE­CEM­BER 2

World Jewish Re­lief will stage an event at Liver­pool Street Sta­tion to mark the ar­rival of the first kinder­trans­port train.

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

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