November 4, 2008
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM COMMEMORATES 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF KRISTALLNACHT
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will hold a variety of educational programming and online activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Programs include interviews with survivors and eyewitnesses to the events of Kristallnacht, and presentations by Museum historians. Additionally, the Museum’s Web site will contain a number of resources for educators, students and the public, and the Museum is holding a special online program for Second Life users.
On November 9 – 10, 1938, the Nazis staged vicious pogroms, state-sanctioned riots against the Jews of Germany. These events came to be known as Kristallnacht, often translated as “Night of Broken Glass,” a reference to the untold number of broken windows and synagogues, Jewish-owned stores, community centers, and homes plundered and destroyed during the pogroms. At least 91 Jews were killed during Kristallnacht.
Kristallnacht marked an intensification of Nazi anti-Jewish policy that would culminate in the Holocaust. It proved to the world that Nazi Germany was prepared to carry out massive acts of violence against its Jewish population. Yet this ominous warning did not shake most of the world from its lethargy concerning the threat Germany’s Jews faced.
A schedule of the Museum’s Kristallnacht programming is below. The programs are free and open to the public, with no reservations required.
- Sunday, November 9, 3:30 p.m.: Four Holocaust survivors and Kristallnacht eyewitnesses will be interviewed by a Museum curator about their experiences.
- Monday, November 10, 11:00 a.m.: Museum historian and educator Ann Millin will present, “Reporting on Kristallnacht: Propaganda and the Press,” telling the story of the German government’s attempt to hide the truth about Kristallnacht and how American journalists got the story out to the world.
- Throughout November, “Memories of Kristallnacht,” following the experiences of six Holocaust survivors, will be screened in the Museum’s Wexner Learning Center.
The Museum’s Web site commemorating the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, www.ushmm.org/kristallnacht, provides historical information, photographs, artifacts and survivor testimony videos. Additionally, the Museum is creating an online learning environment about Kristallnacht in the virtual world of Second Life, where visitors will be invited to take on the role of journalists documenting the events of Kristallnacht, filing their observations as a “news report” at the end of the experience.
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum strives to inspire leaders and citizens to confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity and strengthen democracy. Federal support guarantees the Museum’s permanence, and donors nationwide make possible its educational activities and global outreach. For more information, visit www.ushmm.org.