This year’s commemoration will take place on Thursday, November 9, 7 p.m. at Congregation Emanu-El synagogue. We will be remembering what took place on the evening of November 9, 1938. Kristallnacht targeted Jews solely for who they were with planned attacks of Jewish owned stores, buildings and synagogues in Germany and Austria while authorities did nothing to stop the assault. The name Kristallnacht refers to the pieces of broken glass covering the streets but represents the broken lives, forever changed by this tragedy.
November 9, 1938 was only a hint of greater harm to come. The history of Kristallnacht reminds us of how quickly lives can be shattered. Kristallnacht is not only a painful scar in the pages of Jewish history, but a lesson for all humanity. All of us have a responsibility to respond promptly and loudly at the first appearance of injustices targeting any group. This message is particularly significant in today’s world when acts of irrational and violent prejudice are all too common.
Our program will remember all who perished in the Holocaust with a candle lighting ceremony by survivors, second- and third-generation descendants, as well as students and youth, representing our ongoing hope for a future of peace. In addition, the program will include a variety of other speakers, musicians and the reading of our Pledge of Mutual Respect and Support by politicians, multi-faith representatives and law enforcement leaders from the Victoria community and others in attendance.
Please join us to remember the past and envision a better future where we will respect and protect our neighbours, not remain silent in the face of any injustice against any person or group and work towards building bridges leading to unity and shalom (peace) in our own community and beyond.