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American Student Reflects

Robert Harlan describes his journey, in the aftermath of Kristallnacht, to help the parents of a Jewish friend whose house had been ransacked.

Robert Harlan describes his journey, in the aftermath of Kristallnacht, to help the parents of a Jewish friend whose house had been ransacked. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Lois Harlan

November 11, 1938

“So, here I am on the outskirts of Frankfurt, sitting on a train and bound for Würzburg, where I know not what awaits me.”

Robert Harlan, studying a semester abroad at the University of Marburg, witnessed Kristallnacht. Traveling by train to help the parents of a Jewish friend whose house had been ransacked, Harlan reflects that “America, the land of freedom, still has much meaning I'm thinking.”