Marking 84 years since "Kristallnacht / the November Pogrom” the International March of the Living is launching its third interfaith campaign of unity to remember Kristallnacht under the banner, “Let There Be Light”. The campaign is aiming to commemorate the past but also to raise awareness about the current atmosphere of intolerance, prejudice and racism that exists in the world today, by participating in a public educational effort that will be joined by people of all faiths and backgrounds.
On November 9-10, 1938, hundreds of synagogues were burned across Germany and thousands of Jewish-owned businesses were damaged or destroyed by Nazi vandals during the infamous Kristallnacht pogroms. Approximately 100 Jews were murdered and around 30,000 more were rounded up and sent to concentration camps, marking an ominous turning point in history, and a key juncture in the evolution of the Holocaust, the mass genocide of the Jews carried by Nazi Germany during WWII.
This year, the International March of the Living together with its partners - the Nieshlos Foundation; Crossroads of Civilizations Museum at the UAE, Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM); META; the Austrian Jewish community, and the Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience at Rutgers University - will mark the 84th anniversary of Kristallnacht with commemorative events in Jerusalem, Vienna and in Dubai, the first event of its kind in the Arab & Islamic world.
The event in Dubai will take place at the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum, founded by H.E. Ahmed Obaid AlMansoori, and will stand as the inaugural event of the new March of the Living Chapter in the Gulf, headed by MOTL Ambassador in the Gulf, Eitan Neishlos. Both of them attended the 2022 March of the Living and together they lit a torch of hope in the ceremony at Birkenau.
The keynote speaker in Dubai will be Holocaust Survivor Eve Kugler, who was only 7 years old when the Germans broke into her home. She will never forget what happened on the terrible night of November 9, 1938. “The soldiers took my grandfather, and my father too, and after they left, we ran to the window and saw the synagogue that my father had helped build, going up in flames.”
Eitan Neishlos, President of the Neishlos Foundation & March of the Living ambassador to the Gulf States: “When I stood recently in Auschwitz, surrounded by the echos of the victims of the Nazis’ terrible crimes, I was struck once again by the need to ensure the stories of these innocent souls are heard far beyond the Holocaust memorials, and far beyond the soil of Europe. All humanity must hear the stories and learn the lessons of the Shoah. I am grateful to the Emirati leadership for their courage and clear voice promoting tolerance. I am hopeful, thanks to the work of March of the Living, and with the inspiration of Eve’s story in particular, we will greatly contribute to promoting understanding and mutual respect for all peoples.”
H.E. Ahmed Obaid AlMansorri, Founder of the Crosswords of Civilization Museum said: “As a student of history, I acknowledge the Holocaust as the worst crime against the Jewish people. As a Muslim, I cannot standby and allow the memory of the victims, and the voices of the survivors, to fade into history. I am privileged to host this historic commemoration event at the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum, where we established the first Holocaust Memorial Gallery in the Arab and Islamic world, with the goal of learning from history’s lessons for a better future. I am honored to host a Holocaust survivor, Eve Kugler, who’s an essential voice of hope, who will be educating us all about the horrors that she endured as a child during Kristallnacht.”
Other participants in the commemoration in Dubai are senior representatives of the Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience at Rutgers University: Paul Goldenberg, former member of the US Government Homeland Security Advisory Council Commissioner and Karl Heeren, Chief External and International Relations for Antwerp, Belgium; along with Jordana Cutler, Director of Public Policy - Israel & the Jewish Diaspora at Meta.
CEO of CAM, a strategic partner to the "Let There Be Light" global campaign, Sacha Roytman Dratwa: “As a multi-faith movement, it is vital to bring a unifying message of remembrance and a warning for the present and the future that the forces of intolerance and bigotry are increasing around the world. Bringing light to push back against the darkness reminds us of the need to be constantly vigilant, educate and combat those who seek to target Jews and deny the Holocaust.”
In Vienna a "March of Hope" from the Heldenplatz to the Judenplatz will take place concluding with a commemorative ceremony. Oskar Deutsch, the head of the Jewish community in Austria said, "The Pogroms of 1938 revealed the destructive potential of antisemitism and marked the beginning of the expulsion, expropriation, and mass murder of Jews all over Europe. The pogroms and the Shoah were the result of centuries of Jew hatred. These days, our diverse and open societies need to be vigilant and determined to fight antisemitism to enable Jewish communities to prosper".
“It makes me proud to see the self-confidence of our youth as they are taking to the streets of Vienna to remember the November pogroms of 1938 and successfully mobilizing so many more youth organizations to join them in their common cause for a society free of antisemitism and hate. This event shows that we will remain a vocal part of society with many allies to protect our open, diverse, and democratic society.”
In Jerusalem a moving ceremony will take place in which Holocaust survivors who witnessed Kristallnacht, Walter Bingham and David Tzizlovitz, will be honored, as messages of hope from around the world will be projected onto the walls of the old city.
For more information: Jason Perelman + 972 52 632 8795 [email protected]