80 years on - Remembering the 'Night of Broken Glass'

80 years on - Remembering the 'Night of Broken Glass'
By Louise Miner with Reuters
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Germany and Austria leaders mark the 80th anniversary of the Kristallnacht, the ‘night of broken glass’ at a Berlin Synagogue


Germany has a moral duty to fight rising anti-Semitism. That's according to Chancellor Angela Merkel. She delivered an emotional speech at a Berlin synagogue to mark the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, 'Night of Broken Glass'.

It was the night when Nazi supporters killed around 91people and burned synagogues and Jewish businesses on the 9th of November in 1938.

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel says, "We are appalled by attacks on people who wear kippah's, and are stunned by the right-wing radically-motivated attacks on a Jewish restaurant in Chemnitz in August of this year. This is a form of anti-Semitic crimes which call up terrible memories of the beginning of the pursuit of Jews in the 30s. But such events should not just alarm Holocaust survivors. It is awful for us all."

The name 'Night of Broken Glass', refers to the shattered windows which littered streets outside synagogues and Jewish shops and homes.

In two days, over 7,000 Jewish businesses were vandalised, around 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and put into concentration camps and hundreds of synagogues were burnt to the ground in Germany and Austria. Some say it was the beginning of the Holocaust.

In the audience there were Austrians, living now in Israel, who had to flee Austria because of the Holocaust.

Members of the Austrian government were there, including the Austrian Conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. He says, "In Austria, and in Europe, there must be no place for anti-semitism. And our historical responsibility ends neither at the Austrian border nor at the European border."

Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen laid a wreath at the memorial of Jewish victims of November pogroms that took place 80 years ago.

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