A Kristallnacht Commemoration

The Jewish community will mark the 73rd anniversary of Kristallnacht at a commemorative function on Wednesday evening 9 November at the Glen Eira Town Hall.

To be held under the joint auspices of B’nai B’rith Victoria, the Melbourne Holocaust Museum and the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia, Victoria, the commemoration will include a presentation scripted by Cedric Gould, presented by John Lawrence, Ruth Yaffe, George Werther and Rabbi Philip Heilbrunn OAM.

The program will be produced and directed by Esther Gross.

The Melbourne Holocaust Museum has traditionally honoured its former president and one of the Centre’s founders, Shmuel Rosenkranz, and his late wife, Betty, at an annual oration around the date of Kristallnacht.

Living in Vienna in 1938 under Nazi rule, Mr Rosenkranz was witness to the mayhem and destruction which occurred on that fateful night. This year, a special tribute to Mr Rosenkranz and his late wife, Betty, to be made by Jewish communal identity, Malvina Malinek OAM, will feature as part of the Kristallnacht commemoration program.

Commonly known as the “Night of the Broken Glass’, Kristallnacht marked an intensification in the Nazi persecution of German and Austrian Jews that culminated in the Holocaust.  On the night of 9-10 November 1938, 91 Jews were murdered, 7,500 Jewish businesses were destroyed, 267 synagogues burned, and hundreds of people injured. Approximately 30,000 Jewish men were rounded up, earmarked for torture, slave labour, brutal treatment and often death at the hands of the SS. The Third Reich’s Jews were then forced to pay one billion marks for what Nazi leader Hermann Göring called “their abominable crimes.”