Each year the Holocaust Center sponsors a community program in remembrance of Kristallnacht (“Night of Broken Glass”), a series of attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria. On November 9–10, 1938 thousands of Jewish homes were ransacked along with shops, towns and villages, as SA stormtroopers and civilians destroyed buildings with sledgehammers. They left the streets covered in pieces of smashed windows—the origin of the name “Night of Broken Glass.” Ninety-one Jews were killed, and 30,000 Jewish men—a quarter of all Jewish men in Germany—were taken to concentration camps. There, they were tortured for months, with over 1,000 of them dying. During that assault, 1,668 synagogues were ransacked, and 267 set on fire. In Vienna alone 95 synagogues or houses of prayer were destroyed.
That terrifying night marks the moment that should have erased any doubt about Hitler’s intentions. Jewish lives were in jeopardy, and clearly there would be further tragedy. Yet the world stood by in silence. At the Holocaust Center we say that we are remembering the past to protect the future. Kristallnacht is the day of all the days in history we must remember most clearly. This is the day when the greatest crime against humanity was so clear, so compelling, that no one could escape its significance. And this is the day, more than any other day, we must think about when we say Never Again.
The year 2013 marks the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Because of the significance of this anniversary, we are partnering with the Interfaith Council of Central Florida, the Bach Festival Society and the Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation to present Sir Michael Tippett’s oratorio A Child of Our Time. The work was created in response to Kristallnacht, and reflects the composer’s compassion for the oppressed everywhere.
Throughout the weeks leading up to the performance, which will be held at Knowles Memorial Chapel at Rollins, there will be a number of events including survivor stories, lectures and films. A complete schedule will be available mid-summer.
As part of the events of community remembrance, the Holocaust Center is sponsoring a juried art exhibit around the history of Kristallnacht. The deadline for application is April 20, and the deadline for completed work is August 1. Complete information, including the application form, is available here.
A series of special theatrical performances is also being planned. The Interfaith Council of Central Florida and the Holocaust Center are teaming up in an effort to have the Center’s 2012’s Kristallnacht Remembrance program—“Witness”—presented in 75 houses of worship, schools, civic organizations and other venues. “Witness” is a readers’ theater that uses the actual words of victims, perpetrators and onlookers to describe what went on during the tragic events of that night. The readers’ words accompany a PowerPoint presentation of pictures and news headlines from that era. It is suited for groups of all sizes and levels of talent: it requires no special staging, costumes, or memorization. The Holocaust Center is making copies of the scripts and the PowerPoint available to organizations who want to present a performance for their own group. This outreach effort is being coordinated by Jim Coffin, Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Central Florida. who can be reached by phone (321-228-4599) or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are several opportunities to sponsor the community events for this project. If you’d like to support this effort, please contact Pam Kancher at 407-628-0555.
June 17 to June 21
Register Now for the Eighteenth Annual Teachers Institute
May 27, 2013
We will be closed for Memorial Day
June 2, 2013 at 4:00 PM
From Silence to Recognition – Confronting Discrimination in Emory’s Dental School History…
Monday - Thursday 9 AM - 4 PM
Friday 9 AM - 1 PM
Sunday 1 PM - 4 PM
No admission is charged for visiting the Center or for attending commemorative programs and films. Scheduled school group may limit access to some parts of the museum.
The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida · 851 N Maitland Ave · Maitland, FL 32751 · Phone: 407-628-0555 · email@example.com