(photo credit:Courtesy of Chabad- Lubavitch)
The large crowd assembled under the imposing Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on
Tuesday carrying torches was reminiscent of a different era, darker
But these were not Nazi stormtroopers, and the year was not 1933.
Rather, it was 2011 and the gatherers were taking part in a large Hanukka
“We’re standing at the same spot where Adolf Hitler announced
his plan to annihilate European Jewry,” said Chabad Rabbi Yehuda Tiechtel of
Berlin, who organized the event. “In this same spot we’ll be lighting the
menorah with German officials, leaders and ambassadors.”
people, including US Ambassador to Germany Phillip Murphy and several other
dignitaries were in attendance, said Tiechtel. During the gathering Jewish
students simultaneously lit candles and torches symbolizing the triumph of light
The Brandenburg Gate was built by Prussian King Fredrick
William II in 1788. When the Nazis came to power they used it to stage marches
and rallies, including Hitler’s swearing-in ceremony as chancellor in January
1933. After the war, the gate stood in a virtual no-man’s land straddling the
border between East and West Berlin. It was where then US president John
Kennedy delivered his Ich bin ein Berliner speech and US President
Ronald Reagan called on Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin
After reunification, the gate is again in the middle of a thriving
city, only a stone’s throw away from a large museum remembering the Jews
murdered by the Nazis and their allies in the Holocaust.
many non-Jewish passersby attended the ceremony out of curiosity.
purpose of the menorah is light over darkness, there’s no stronger place to
express this than here,” he said.
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