German Jewish Council Opposes Combining Commemoration for 1938 Pogroms, German Unity

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The furnishings and ritual objects from the synagogue in Mosbach on the town square on 10 November 1938.
The furnishings and ritual objects from the synagogue in Mosbach on the town square on 10 November 1938.Credit: Heritage Images/Getty Images
DPA

The Central Council of Jews in Germany has criticized a combined event to commemorate the memory of the Nazi pogroms in 1938 and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is planning a National Day of Remembrance on Tuesday, called "1918 – 1938 – 1989: Commemorating November 9".

"I think a day of remembrance that takes into account all historical events on November 9 is difficult because they are very ambiguous," Central Council President Josef Schuster told dpa.

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"There was danger to life and limb, deportations took place, up to and including murders," said Schuster. "On the other hand, there is the clearly joyous occasion of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. I think a single National Day of Remembrance for all these different events is problematic."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany Josef Schuster during a ceremony in Berlin two months ago.Credit: POOL/ REUTERS

On November 9, 1938, Nazis in Germany carried out pogroms against Jews and vandalized synagogues or shops owned by Jews.

A commission set up to examine 30 Years of German unity had proposed the National Day of Remembrance last year.

In addition to the night of Nazi pogroms against the Jews – also known as Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass – and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the day should also commemorate the proclamation of the German republic on November 9, 1918, marking the end of the rule of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

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