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November 15, 2002 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-11-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

,
shouted "Jews out" and "It's all the fault of you Jews.'
Commemorations were held across Germany over
the weekend to mark the Kristallnacht anniversary,
but not all of them were welcome.
The far-right National Democratic Party used the
anniversary to hold a march in the city of Weimar.
But only 200 right-wingers out of an expected 1,000
showed up. At the same time, some 1,500 counter-
demonstrators marched peacefully.
"The lack of protest gave Nazis the green light to
Meanwhile, a new study of 3,000 Germans shows
intensify their anti-Jewish policies," said Giordano,
that significant numbers of them sympathize
who was a child at the time. "When mur-
with far-right politics. Sociologist Wilhelm
derers were needed, they were ready."
Heitmeyer of Bielefeld University said some
He and his brother were hidden by a
20 percent of Germans would vote for a new
non-Jewish woman on Kristallnacht.
extremist party if given the chance.
Rabbi Charles Rosenzveig, founder and
Of this group, some 67 percent consider
executive director of the Holocaust
themselves to be middle-of-the-road, Heit-
Memorial Center in West Bloomfield,
meyer said. The study shows that Jews and
remembers hearing about it from German-
Muslims are widely viewed with suspicion.
Jewish refugees as an 11-year-old child in
About 22 percent of the respondents agreed
Charles
Rabbi
Poland, soon after it happened.
with
the statement, "Many Jews try to take
Rosenzv eig
"They drove out a lot of Jews from
advantage
today of the history of the Third
Germany into Poland after Kristallnacht,"
Reich,
and
the
Germans
pay for this."
he said. "When they began to tell us about that
Some
53
percent
were
against building more
night, in the back of everybody's mind was that
mosques,
seeing
them
as
a
sign of a lust for power.
something unprecedented was occurring. It was a
The findings contradict conclusions drawn after
frightening, frightening thing.
the Sept. 22 national elections, in which the Free
"The ripple effect that this had on Jewry through-
Democratic Party failed to win enough votes to
out Europe was enormous," Rabbi Rosenzveig said.
form a government coalition.
Alexander Brenner, the leader of Berlin's Jewish
The party's failure was seen by some as proof that
community, issued a call for greater public involve-
German voters rejected what were widely viewed as
ment in the fight against intolerance.
His comments at the commemoration came two weeks the anti-Semitic campaign tactics of the party's then-
deputy leader, Jurgen Mollemann.
after hecklers at an event in Berlin's Spandau district

Shards Of Glass

German Jews recall Kristallnacht as the threat from far right persists.

TOBY AXELROD
Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Berlin

B

erlin's Jewish community marked the
64th anniversary this week of what many
consider the start of the Holocaust.
About 500 people, among them
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and Israeli
Ambassador Shimon Stein, gathered for the Nov. 9
commemoration of Kristallnacht.
The commemoration was held at the city's main
Jewish Community Center, which stands on the site
of a synagogue destroyed on that night in 1938.
Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, occurred
when Nazi thugs ransacked Jewish-owned shops and
torched synagogues across Germany and Austria.
Nearly 100 Jews were killed, tens of thousands of
Jewish men were arrested, hundreds of synagogues
were set aflame and thousands of Jewish-owned
shops were destroyed.
"After that night, no one in Germany could say
they knew nothing," Ralph Giordano, a German
Jewish essayist, spoke about Kristallnacht at the
commemoration, "It was a dress rehearsal," he said.



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