Light Up The Church

October 2023: Kristallnacht News Update

While we usually send a few stories about Kristallnacht and the Holocaust that made the news in the previous month (October), this month we would also like to give you an update about the commemoration of Kristallnacht we did on November 9, 2023.

In summary of Light Up The Church 2023, our site now lists 126 churches, 34 parachurch ministries, 13 businesses, and 107 individuals and home groups. Over 1000 people signed our ‘I Stand With The Jewish People’ declaration this month of November.

This remarkable success is a testament to your unwavering support. Engaging nearly 200 churches, ministries, and businesses, Light Up The Church also significantly expanded its reach through social media and mainstream media coverage (like this item on CBN Jerusalem Dateline). Your generous support has been instrumental in achieving these milestones.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude for your generous support, which has been instrumental in this achievement. Looking ahead to 2024, our plans include intensifying outreach efforts and implementing strategic initiatives to further increase participation and declarations of solidarity. Thank you for being an integral part of this meaningful journey, and we eagerly anticipate achieving even greater milestones together in the coming year.

Your financial donation to Light Up The Church is appreciated.

  • Torah crown looted from Shul during Kristallnacht discovered

    An exquisite silver crown, once a regal adornment for a Torah scroll in a synagogue tragically destroyed during Kristallnacht, has been rescued from obscurity. This precious artifact, now retrieved from an antique shop in Hamburg, carries profound historical significance, symbolizing resilience amid the shadows of a dark past.

  • Remembering Kristallnacht and the Kindertransport - Opinion

    Commencing with the horrors of Kristallnacht, the article sheds light on the Kindertransport's commemoration. It emphasizes the significance of this year's High Holy Days for those who escaped Nazi clutches through Kindertransport, touching upon the sanctity of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The narrative culminates with a plea for unity and forgiveness, invoking God's protection against future adversities.

  • Rebuilding Hamburg's synagogue destroyed after Kristallnacht

    Hamburg's Jewish community is rebuilding the Bornplatz Synagogue, destroyed during Kristallnacht in 1938. The prominent synagogue, desecrated but not burned, was sold and demolished by the Nazis. Now, after 84 years, officials cut the Aryanisation document in restitution. Daniel Scheffer, leading the campaign, found a stolen Torah crown, symbolizing the fight against antisemitism. The synagogue's rebuilding marks a turning point in Hamburg's Jewish history, overcoming Nazi barbarism. The site's excavation precedes an architectural competition for the new synagogue.

  • ‘I don’t want my mother’s story to die’: brought to life in virtual reality film

    Marion Deichmann's poignant Holocaust story, featured in the virtual reality documentary "Letters from Drancy," recalls her mother's arrest during Vél’ d’Hiv round-up in Paris. The film explores Marion's experiences, separation, and tragic loss at Auschwitz, emphasizing her determination to keep her mother's memory alive. The VR documentary is set to premiere at the London Film Festival, capturing the emotional journey and ensuring the Holocaust's remembrance.

  • What the Vatican and Pius XII knew about the Holocaust

    An international conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University will unveil new documents from Pope Pius XII's wartime pontificate. Historian Dr. Michael Hesemann, who studied the Vatican Archives, debunks the "black legend" surrounding Pius XII. Despite challenges, Pius XII actively sought to save Jews, attempting diplomatic interventions and supporting German military opposition. Newly discovered documents, such as a list of hidden Jews in Rome, reshape the narrative, emphasizing Pius XII's significant role in Holocaust rescue efforts.

  • Romania marks decision to teach Jewish history, Holocaust in schools

    Romania commemorates the inclusion of Holocaust and Jewish history in school curriculum, acknowledging its dark past. Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu emphasizes the importance of facing historical truths for a robust democracy. The move is a significant step toward acknowledging Romania's role in WWII atrocities, with the curriculum change initiated by lawmaker Silviu Vexler. The decision reflects a commitment to counter rising far-right sentiments in Europe. Romania, once a German ally, now confronts its history and aims to educate future generations about the Holocaust and its impact.

  • Chilling warning from Holocaust survivor: 'It all started with Hitler'

    Rachel Miller, a Holocaust survivor from Chesterfield, Missouri, vividly recalls the horrors of Nazi Germany's atrocities. Surviving the Holocaust as a child in France, Miller warns of parallels between that dark period and current times, stating, "It all started with Hitler, and we have a few people in this country that resemble him, and that scares me." She draws attention to rising intolerance, emphasizing the need for a government willing to address and curb such trends. Sharing her experiences, Miller urges action against racism, fascism, and nationalism, highlighting the importance of preventing a recurrence of history's darkest chapters.

  • Holocaust Education Gains Popularity in Serbia Amidst Rising Nationalism

    In Serbia's Šabac, a Holocaust education seminar by TOLI gains traction, combating rising nationalism. The event, organized with local partner Terraforming, involved 30 teachers learning from second-generation survivors. TOLI's broader European efforts aim to address historical awareness and fight antisemitism. The program includes visits to sites tied to Jewish heritage, emphasizing Holocaust education to prevent recurrence.