Hillel students remember Kristallnacht



November 15, 2019

Kristallnacht was a night filled with violent anti-Semitic demonstrations across Germany. Synagogues were torched, Jewish store windows were smashed and sacred Jewish items were destroyed. Students around the world commemorated the 81st-anniversary of the “Night of Broken Glass” with events at their local Hillels. 

Hillel at Baruch College

Holocaust survivors Gita Kaufman and David Greenbaum, who travel across the country sharing their stories, spoke about their experiences during the “Night of Broken Glass” at Hillel at Baruch College. Kaufman co-wrote and co-directed “Shadows From My Past,” a 2013 documentary that portrays an American Jewish woman who returns to Vienna after she was forced to flee the country as a child.  

Illini Hillel

Hillel at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign co-hosted a production of “Broken Glass,” a play written by Arthur Miller. “Broken Glass,” which premiered on Broadway in 1994, focuses on a couple living in New York City in 1938, during the same time as Kristallnacht. 

University of Pennsylvania Hillel

Hillel students and professionals at University of Pennsylvania Hillel had the opportunity to speak with Holocaust survivor Tova Friedman. Friedman, who is one of the youngest Holocaust survivors, was sent to Auschwitz at 5-years-old and hid from German soldiers in the days before Auschwitz was liberated.

Rutgers University Hillel

Fred Behrend spoke at Rutgers University Hillel about the horrors he witnessed as a teenager on Kristallnacht. The 93-year-old signed copies of his memoir, “Rebuilt from Broken Glass: A German-Jewish Life Remade in America,” which he is working on turning into a documentary. 

North Carolina Hillel

Hillel students and professionals at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hillel organized a special Shabbat to commemorate Kristallnacht and the Holocaust. Students led egalitarian services, listened to a D’var Torah and ate a traditional Shabbat dinner.