As the sun came up on November 10, 1938, seventy-nine years ago, Jews throughout Germany, annexed Austria and areas of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia were in shock. They had just experienced the horror that was Kristallnacht – a wave of vicious pograms, attacks directed against the Jewish community. Kristallnacht or Night of Broken Glass got its name from the countless windows of Jewish businesses, homes and places of worship that were shattered during the attacks.
The Jewish people were shattered as well. 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and transferred to Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald and other concentration camps – the first time that the Nazis incarcerated a massive number of Jews simply because of their religious identity. At least 91 Jews were killed during Kristallnacht. Max Freundlich z”l (of blessed memory) was one of them – passing away while he was arrested for being a Jew.
We are taught to NEVER FORGET. So today, don’t forget Mr. Freundlich, who was murdered during Kristallnacht. Below you will see Mr. Freundlich’s Page of Testimony that was submitted by his daughter, Senta Lewinski. This Page of Testimony is housed at Yad VaShem (The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel). Please take a look at it. Read about Mr. Freundlich. Share his Page of Testimony with family and friends. Pause to think about the 90 other Jews who were murdered seventy-nine years ago. Take time to honor the scores of others who began their journeys to the death camps. And promise yourself that you will live your life to the fullest while ensuring that no one is persecuted on the grounds of religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality or political opinion.
We will remember the victims of Kristallnacht tonight at our 7:30 Kabbalat Shabbat service. In addition, during tonight’s service we will honor our Veterans, many of whom helped liberate the concentration camps at the end or WWII. If you are a Veteran, please join us and if you know a Veteran, please bring them with you tonight.