Kristallnacht(1zt photo)
Kristallnacht(1zt photo)צילום: Yad Vashem

Rabbi Dr. Bernard Rosenberg is the son of Holocaust survivors.

The Nazi mentality still exists, as we saw one month ago in Israel, and no one is naive enough to believe that anti-Semitism will ever vanish.. Hatred and bigotry are a cancer that eventually returns to haunt its innocent victims. Unless intense treatment and annual diagnostic tests occur, tragedy is inevitable. With them, and with careful watchfulness, perhaps tragedy can be avoided.

Some naively believe that public denunciations and continued documentaries will awaken latent Nazi tendencies. Allow me to suggest the opposite. Those who truly wish to destroy the Jewish nation certainly do not need additional incentives to feel the way they do.

Like parasites, they survive at the expense of others. These cannibals of society eagerly await to devour their prey; they feed upon fear and desperately search for defenseless scapegoats. An apathetic approach combined with the fear of retaliation merely furnishes fuel for those seeking scapegoats. Too often we dismiss the obvious in order to achieve peace of mind.

The ramification of the war with Hamas is the same as the Holocaust. Many will seek all their lives for survivors not knowing they are dead or alive. Numerous families lost children to these barbarians and in some cases will want to remarry, just like in the Holocaust.

During that night Nov. 9 1938, mobs burned synagogues; destroyed Jewish businesses; vandalized Jewish hospitals, orphanages and cemeteries, and dragged thousands of Jewish men. women and children into the streets; where they were beaten and humiliated. The Germans later called this night Kristallnacht— The Night of Broken Glass — because of the tons of shattered glass that scattered throughout German cities

In response to Kristallnacht, the New York Times calmly observed: “It is assumed that the Jews, who have now lost most of their possessions and livelihood, will either be thrown into the streets or put into ghettos and concentration camps or impressed into labor brigades and put to work for the Third Reich. As the children of Israel were once before the Pharaohs.”

Following the atrocities of Kristallnacht, the London Times exclaimed, “It is not to be believed that the nations cannot find the means of assisting unwarranted citizens to leave Germany and of providing the territory in which those Jews can find a liberated community and recover the right to live and prosper. There is no difficulty which a common will and common action cannot overcome.”

Now we can openly admit, too little too late! Fear and appeasement provided the Nazi party with the subterfuge they eagerly sought. Isolationism blinded the eyes of our so called leadership.
Various pleas remained unheard and unanswered.

March of the Living- Raoul Wootliff

85 years on from Kristallnacht, Holocaust Survivors say they once again feel unsafe as Jews

In stirring testimonies released for anniversary of Kristallnacht, survivors from around the world call out for help in fighting rising antisemitism

The survivors, out of fear for their own safety, were initially hesitant to speak out, worried that revealing their identities could place them or their families in immediate danger.

Today marks the 85th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom. On November 9th, 1938, the Nazi paramilitary forces, along with German civilians, burned and vandalized over 1,400 Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues. They also murdered 91 Jews and arrested 30,000 Jewish men, sending them to concentration camps. Kristallnacht marked a turning point in the Nazi persecution of the Jews.

This week we also mark 30 days since the horrific Hamas terror attack on Israel, where terrorists killed 1400 people, mostly civilians, and took over 240 hostages, among them children, elderly, men and women.

Israel’s subsequent war against Hamas has resulted in a wave of severe antisemitism around the world – a sharp rise of over 500% antisemitic attacks on Jews and Jewish communities was reported globally. These waves of antisemitism included physical violence, calls to kill Jews, using Nazi Germany rhetoric, and intimidation of young Jews on campuses and of Jews in the streets.

In response to these events, Holocaust survivors have asked March of the Living to share their voices.

International March of the Living Chair & President, Dr. Shmuel Rosenman and Phyllis: “Listening to the survivors was heartbreaking. We never believed that we would once again hear a Holocaust survivor say, ‘I don’t feel safe,’ or ‘I’m afraid to go to the synagogue,’ or ‘I’m afraid they’ll hurt me.’ We never believed that we would relive those days again.”

Holocaust Survivor Manya "I think twice before I wear my Star of David"

It is a catastrophe what is happening today: not only Hamas but the antisemitism on the universities. Before, I went outside with a Magen David on my shirt, now I think twice about it. Who would have thought that after the Holocaust it would happen again. We are the chosen ones again...Should I go to temple? I am afraid. I feel distinct. We know that they are antagonizing us. Where did these college students become so agitated? How did Jews harm them? Where does it come from? I just pray that Israel will win. I’m glad that the US government is not against Israel.

Holocaust Survivor Benjamin "It brings back nightmarish memories from my childhood"

It is unbelievable that more than 80 years after the Holocaust, we are witnessing a significant increase in antisemitic events worldwide. No, I do not fear for my life and my family's safety. I am confident that Israel will prevail and eliminate the threat soon. I trust in the power and strength of the Jewish State. But as a child (a hidden boy) born in 1937, I don't recall a similar situation, except for the fear my family and I felt during the Nazi German occupation of my home country, Greece. I could never have imagined that one day I would witness demonstrations and attacks against Israel and Jews on TV screens. What Hamas did to the Israelis on October 7th is as cruel, barbaric, and tragic as what the Nazis did to the Jews 80 years ago. When I see Jewish homes marked with the Magen David, it brings back nightmarish memories from my childhood, reminding me of swastikas and concentration camps. My message is that we, the Jewish people, have endured significant suffering throughout our history, with the Holocaust being the darkest period. Though the current times are challenging, thanks to the brave IDF, a sense of normalcy will soon return to the State of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora.

Holocaust Survivor Gabriella "Never since the Holocaust are Jews so threatened"

My view of the current situation is gut-wrenching. Israel and the Jewish community worldwide are in a fight for their very existence. Never since the Holocaust are Jews so threatened. Our Jewish State, Israel, is determined to eradicate Hamas at all costs of Jewish lives. They must have our support. All our lives depend on it! We’ll emerge victorious and the world will be a better place. We’ll come to understand that everyone has the same right to live in peace regardless of race, color of their skin, eyes or hair, and we don’t have to love everybody, but we have to respect everybody on this planet.

Holocaust Survivor Tirza "I never thought in my life that something as terrible as now would happen again".

I was 4 years old when the Gestapo came on Kristallnacht (November 9th 1938) and beat her father before taking him to Dachau where he perished. I never thought in my life that something as terrible as now would happen again. On October 7, Hamas came and slaughtered children, young and old. I have to say honestly, all the lectures I give, and I give a lot, in Israel, in Germany and wherever I can, but I think back 85 years ago to how horrible it was, and here we are, experiencing it again. I'm frustrated and I heartbroken to think what these people experienced, and I hope that everyone who hears and sees this will know what we are experiencing in Israel.”

Holocaust Survivor Maud "The October 7 terror attack brought back so many memories of what I saw as a child".

"When it all happened on October 7th, I couldn't believe it. I've had sleepless nights since and it just brought back so many memories. It is so visual of what I saw as a child. Now this. I don't know how to cope, don't know how to digest it, it's all so difficult. I have a hard time coping with what I read and what I hear and what I see on tv. I can't come to terms with it. It's do hard.

Holocaust Survivor Nate "I am devastated to see how Jews are being attacked today. Jews are not safe".

The events of 10/7 are beyond imagination and too horrible to understand. I am very troubled by this and am struggling to retain my equilibrium. It is the worst pogrom since the Shoah. My optimism is shattered. We must collectively feel the pain felt by parents whose child is abducted and threatened with death. Hamas’s barbarism is equal and almost exceeds what I experienced during the Shoah. I remember when I was a little boy growing up in Poland after the rise of Nazi Germany and the events of Kristallnacht. I remember being attacked on the streets, and being yelled at “dirty Jews, go to Palestine.” I required to wear the Star of David. I forced out of my homes into the ghetto and from there my family and I were deported to Auschwitz where almost my entire family was murdered. It started with words and continued with actions. I am devastated to see how Jews are being attacked today. Jews are not safe. I saw where antisemitism can lead to and I am very concerned".

Holocaust Survivor Eva "The world seems a dark place right now as it teeters on the brink of what could easily turn into WWIII".

As a child survivor of the Holocaust, I am terrified as I witness the news which raises the anxiety, the fear, the deja-vu. The Holocaust did not begin in 1939. It began much before, in small increments of restrictions and discrimination and denial of rights to Jews in Europe. Never again… a phrase heard over and over to underline that the tragedy of the Holocaust must never be allowed to happen again. But what have we learned since, is that the world and we humans who inhabit it, repeatedly do unto each other what no other species would do. October 7th, 2023 marked a black day, a day of violence and violation, of cruelty, of barbarism, of unspeakable evil by Hamas. The world seems a dark place right now as it teeters on the brink of what could easily turn into WWIII. The rise in antisemitism all over world, the political instability of powerful nations, the effects of what we have done to our planet bringing the power of nature to cause such suffering and damage to many. The IDF is not only fighting to protect Israel, they are fighting to protect all of us from the evil of fundamental extremism of Hamas and its plainly stated objectives….to kill Jews, not only in Israel, but Jews everywhere. History repeats itself and those of us who have lived it before are terrified for all the younger generations which follow us… for you! It is hard to find the hope, yet as Elie Wiesel explains, man cannot live without the hope. We must find the hope that Israel can defend herself, can return to democracy and can provide the anchor we, Jews all over the world, so critically need.

Holocaust Survivor Ben "I'm very concerned, People should speak up against hate"

I was in six concentration and death camps during the Holocaust, and I survived. It was so hard for me to see the horrific terror attack in Israel, to see Jewish people get killed for nothing. Hamas terrorists went and cut off the heads of children- that's unbelievable. I'm very concerned. Nobody thought that something like this can happen. People should not make any difference between color and religion- because the hatred is causing the killing of each other. If you're positive- everything goes away. People should speak up against hate. My message is: choose love, choose happiness.