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Remembering Kristallnacht

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2008-10-30

Synagogue destroyed during Kristallnacht in Dortmund

Synagogue destroyed during Kristallnacht in Dortmund

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Jewish communities across the UK are being asked to join in an initiative that will see lights being left on overnight to mark the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht on November 9.

The initiative by the United Synagogue commemorates the night in 1938 when hundreds of Jewish buildings including synagogues and businesses were destroyed, at least 90 Jews murdered and tens of thousands round up and sent to Buchenwald, Dachau and Sachsenhausen concentration camps.

Kristallnacht, also known as the Night of Broken Glass, followed the shooting of Ernst vom Rath, a German diplomat in Paris by Herschel Grynszpan, a Jewish teenager frustrated at the way in which Jews were being expelled by Nazi Germany.

As well as involving its own United Synagogue community, it hopes other groups and organisations will get involved in the commemoration.

"On the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night where so many lives were broken, we are asking all Synagogues to unite by ensuring a prominent light is left on in their community," said United Synagogue chief executive Jeremy Jacobs. "This dreadful event still resonates in today's world and by being part of this commemoration, the United Synagogue and wider Jewish community can reflect on the past and in our lives today.

The United Synagogue will also be holding a special service at Barnet Synagogue, north west London on November 9 at 7.30pm which will be attended by the Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks and other dignitaries.