Kristallnacht Commemorated at UN

CEO/Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein (left) and Chairman Arthur Stark (right), presenting Secretary-General Guterres (center) with a copy of Pogrom Night 1938. (Conference of Presidents)

In commemoration of 80 years since Kristallnacht, several leaders of Jewish organizations participated in a private event held at the United Nations convened by Secretary-General António Guterres.

“Anti-Semitism is back and it needs to be fought as the crime it is,” said the Secretary General calling on leaders and governments to “clearly denounce and make evident the real risk of anti-Semitism in our societies today.”

At the event, held last Friday, Norbert Strauss, who witnessed Kristallnacht as an 11 year old boy in Frankfurt. Mr. Strauss spoke about his own survival of the terrifying night as well as of the destruction of Jewish communities and structures throughout Germany. He went on to describe his subsequent flight out of the country.

Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO and Vice Chair of the Conference of Presidents presented Mr. Guterres with a two-volume set of books entitled Pogrom Night 1938, which documents the history of the Jewish communities in Germany that were devastated by Nazi pogroms.

“Everybody knew, everyone saw what happened in every village and city…Only the truth can allow humanity to progress,” said Mr. Guterres. “If we hide the past, we will never be able to overcome it.”

Arthur Stark, Conference of Presidents Chairman, thanked the Secretary-General for his compassion, concern, and his outspokenness about the rise of anti-Semitism around the globe.

The event was also attended by George Klein, founder, US Museum of Jewish Heritage/Holocaust Memorial; Dr. David Machlis, director of the March of the Living in the United States; and Dr. Steven Malin, Senior Strategist, Allianz Global which sponsored the publication of Pogrom Night 1938.

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