Community Comemmorates 75th Anniversary of Kristallnacht

Nov. 16, 2013

On Wednesday, November 20, local leaders and hundreds of community members will gather at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts for a fundraising dinner, photo exhibition and live production of Robert Krakow’s “The Trial of Franklin D. Roosevelt” to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht. The play highlights the story of the SS St. Louis and was performed at the State Department in Washington D.C. in 2012. Local attorney and community leader, Frank Gimbel will play the role of the Prosecuting Attorney and will be joined by professional actors in the one-act, 35-minute production. Several passengers of the SS St. Louis will be present. Proceeds of the evening will benefit the Nathan & Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center. Tickets are $100/person and include dinner, theater and parking. To make reservations, visit HolocaustCenterMilwaukee.org

On November 9-10, 1938, mass violence broke out across Germany in a Nazi pogrom that came to be called Kristallnacht, the night of “broken glass.” Across Germany, Austria and the Sudetenland, Jewish businesses and synagogues were destroyed and Jews were arrested. Kristallnacht is considered to be an essential turning point in Nazi Germany's persecution of Jews, which culminated in the Holocaust.

“The 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht is an important moment. There are very few Holocaust survivors left and it is up to future generations to remind our community of significant moments in history, so we don’t repeat them,” said Beverly Greenberg, community leader and one of the Chairs of the 75th anniversary event. “Supporting the Holocaust Education Resource Center allows thousands of men, women and children to be educated every year, here in Wisconsin.”

The Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center (HERC) is dedicated to Holocaust remembrance, education and the preservation of the memory of its victims. By teaching about the Holocaust, HERC aims to promote tolerance and awareness of the evils of hatred, prejudice, bigotry and bullying and to inspire ethical behavior.

HERC provides programs to educate teachers, students and the community about the past to create a better future. It teaches not only to keep alive the memory of six million Jews and five million others who perished during the Holocaust, but about what can happen when groups are denied basic human rights. Each year HERC speakers and educational programs touch almost 17,000 individuals across Wisconsin.

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