August 2023: Kristallnacht News Update
Thank you again for signing the Kristallnacht declaration. The first week of every month we send a few stories about Kristallnacht and the Holocaust that made the news in the previous month. Towards November 2023 we will share information about Light Up The Church 2023.
A lot has been written about Auschwitz and other Nazi killing centers, necessarily so. If we do not talk and write about it, it will not be remembered. We remember the 9th of Av because every year we commemorate the destruction of the Temple. And so, we must remember the destruction of European Jewry, 6 million souls, including 2 million children.
With life increasingly dangerous for Jews in Nazi Germany, tailor David Makofski set out to rescue as many as possible – and saved hundreds. At the top of Lands Lane in Leeds, a tailor called David Makofski sat in his office and pored over his ledger books. It was the late 1930s, and the Nazis’ dark shadow had fallen across Germany and beyond. The world stood on the precipice of war. Yet for some, this Yorkshireman represented a narrow glimmer of hope.
A Hungarian antique book collector, Zsolt Brauer, bought a box of books from a store in Bonyhad, and it contained the relic. The collector’s son, Teofil Brauer, was browsing through the box of books one day in June when he noticed “Bela Englman” written repeatedly in one book. He recognized the name from a memoir about the Holocaust he had recently read. Bela Englman’s family had no record of him, no birth certificate or photograph to prove that he was ever even alive — until now.
An exhibit in New York explores a little-known chapter of World War II. After World War II, most Shanghai Jews moved to Israel, the United States or back to Europe. But not all of them. Leiwi Imas stayed on and became an important member of the small Jewish community there. His daughter Sara grew up learning Chinese and still lives there, as does one of her sons, Jerry, the product of her marriage with a Chinese man.
Malka Levine, who escaped mass killings in a Ukrainian town in World War Two, tells her story in a new book. As one of the nine children who survived the massacre, Ms Levine has compiled her memories in a book called A Mother's Courage, which was written throughout the Covid-19 lockdown and is being launched on 7 September.
What do students learn about the Nazi era in German schools? DW visited a high school in one of Berlin's most diverse neighborhoods to find out. Learning about the Holocaust is mandatory in all German schools. However, since each one of Germany's sixteen federal states is autonomous regarding the educational curriculum, how and to what extent schools teach about the Holocaust varies nationwide. "Without history lessons, I wouldn't really know anything about what happened back then. My parents don't know that much about the subject either," says one student in an interview after class.
At a time of polarization, Wisconsin can take heart in hopeful developments on Holocaust education. Still, youth are worried it could happen again. The millennials, GenZ and beyond may not have heard many firsthand stories about the Great Depression or even the Civil Rights Movement, but they somehow sense the perils of avoiding hot button topics of history. So, besides making sure the right lessons are taught, we should listen.
Once I knew what my mother had been through, I understood why she'd hidden her Judaism. Our parents would indulge us with food and love. Finding out my mother was Jewish was a bigger surprise than my parents' divorce. It made no sense. This was Canada, where multi-culturalism reigned supreme, anyone could worship whatever and whoever they wanted.
The 93-year-old woman returned home to find that not only had her home been broken into, but people had also been squatting (unlawful occupation) there. Several important documents relating to the Holocaust had been scattered throughout her home and damaged, along with other valuables and household items. When a Holocaust survivor's home was thoroughly ransacked, the police and other NGOs did nothing – except for Adopt-a-Safta.