Kristallnacht Remembered - Tucson News Now

Kristallnacht Remembered

By J.D. Wallace, KOLD News 13 Reporter

Vivid memories filled the room at Congregation Anshei Israel Sunday afternoon.

"The Jews were out on the streets.  It was like a nightmare," said Kristallnacht survivor Esther Harris.

Those memories have lived almost seven decades after Kristallnacht, or Crystal Night, November 9th, 1938.

"It marked a dramatic escalation of the persecution of Jews in Germany," said retired professor Gerhard Weinberg.

The personal accounts gave a firsthand look at that night.

"They ripped up the belongings, the books, knocked over furniture, shouted obscenities," Harris said.

"Houses of worship burned down, vandalized, in every community in the country where people either participate or watch," Gerhard said.

They served a reminder of what happened and what was to come.

"People were coming in and destroying their family heirlooms, that kind of shock just shook their entire world and then the catastrophe of holocaust and its aftermath," said Thomas Louchheim, the co-chair of the Yom Ha Shoah Memorial Service.

And they served as a warning of what can happen in the future.

"Horrible things can happen when people don't care, or are silent," Harris said.

"None of us would even imagine of doing such things, but the reality is we all have to be careful of what we say to other people, what we do to other people," Gerhard said.

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