Kristallnacht 2015

Remembering and understanding the lessons

Over 350 guests filled the Education Resource Centre at the Sydney Jewish Museum for the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies’ annual Kristallnacht commemoration. The remarkable story of the enduring friendship between two men formed the keynote address by Cheryl Koenig OAM. Robyn Bloom described the experiences of her late father, Gerry Levy AM, during Kristallnacht, as did eyewitness Dr Joachim Schneeweiss AM, who said “radio waves were filled with screams citing hatred towards the Jews and it was not surprising that the events of Kristallnacht took place”. The program included memorial prayers, musical performances by Cantor Josh Weinberger and David Politzer with Robert Teicher on keyboard, with closing remarks by Board of Deputies president Jeremy Spinak.

“Today should be a day when we look around the world and see if there are any trends that may be warnings to us. Where there is Holocaust denial, we should demand better information and teacher training,” said Board of Deputies Shoah Remembrance Committee Chair Danny Hochberg in his welcome. “Where there are charges of Jewish conspiracies, we should condemn them strongly and swiftly. Where there is rhetoric that incites violence against vulnerable populations, we must answer with stronger calls for safety and respect for diversity.”

This event was made possible because of grants from Multicultural NSW, B’nai B’rith Trust, City of Sydney and the JCA Millie Philips Trust.

Photographs: Giselle Haber Photography