'My Heart Skips a Beat Whenever a Doorbell Chimes': Coping With Kristallnacht, 83 Years On

Renowned Israeli anthropologist Emanuel Marx long refused to even think about the Holocaust or the day when his father was dragged off to Dachau. So what made him finally confront the past?

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Emanuel Marx.
Emanuel MarxCredit: Tomer Appelbaum
Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz

For nearly 70 years, Emanuel Marx never spoke of his experiences during Kristallnacht – the event that would come to mark the beginning of the Holocaust.

More than 1,000 synagogues were destroyed and at least 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses were plundered in the wave of pogroms that engulfed Germany and Austria over the course of several days 83 years ago this week. Officially, 91 Jews were killed during “the night of broken glass” – the first act of organized antisemitic violence to be carried out under the Nazi regime – but the actual number is believed to have been significantly higher.