Yad Vashem launches Kristalnacht exhibition for pogrom’s 80th anniversary

The artifacts featured in the exhibition provide a window into the lives of those who experienced the events of 9 November 1938, and give a glimpse into German and Austrian Jewish life before WWII.

By
November 7, 2018 12:56
1 minute read.
The "Kahal Adat Israel" Synagogue, known as the Schiffschul, going up in flames during the Kristalln

The "Kahal Adat Israel" Synagogue, known as the Schiffschul, going up in flames during the Kristallnacht pogrom, 9-10 November 1938. This was the main orthodox synagogue in Vienna, named after the street on which it was situated, Grosse Schiff Street (Grosse Schiffgasse), in Vienna's 2nd District. . (photo credit: YAD VASHEM PHOTO ARCHIVE FA/143/3)

 
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The Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum is marking the upcoming 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht by launching a new online exhibition  about the infamous pogrom.

Kristalnacht was a broad, centrally-organized pogrom by the Nazi government across Germany and Austria over November 9 and 10, 1938 in which more than 90 Jews were murdered; 30,000 Jewish men arrested and sent to the Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald and other concentration camps; 267 synagogues destroyed; 7,500 Jewish businesses vandalised; and looted and many Jewish cemeteries desecrated.

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Yad Vashem’s new online exhibition, entitled “It Came from Within” details eleven stories as a microcosm of the experiences of the German and Austrian Jewish community that terrible night.

Through the use of personal testimonies, stories, documents, photographs and artifacts the exhibition depicts the terrible blow suffered by the Jews during the Kristallnacht pogrom: the physical violence, the property damage, the synagogue desecration and destruction, and the sight of holy books and Torah scrolls in flames.

The artifacts featured in the exhibition provide a window into the lives of those who experienced the events of 9 November 1938, and give a glimpse into German and Austrian Jewish life before WWII. Some of the stories displayed are told for the first time.

One personal account related in the new exhibition is that of Lore Mayerfeld (née Stern) who was born in 1936 in the city of Marburg, Germany.

Her father, Markus Stern, was arrested on the night of Kristallnacht and sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp.

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During the pogrom, non-Jewish neighbors offered to hide Marcus's wife Kaetchen and their infant Lore in their house, to protect them from the anti-Jewish violence raging in the town.

Lore, already in pajamas, hid with her mother at the neighbors' until the pogrom was over. When they returned home, they found that their house had been destroyed, forcing them to move in with Kaetchen's mother, Lena Kahnlein-Stern.

Markus was released six weeks later from Buchenwald, thanks to a US visa he possessed, on the condition that he leave Germany immediately. Once in the US, he set about obtaining visas for Kaetchen and Lore, and the eventually made it to America in September 1941. 

Visit the exhibition here.

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