B’nai B’rith commemorated the 85th anniversary of the horrific riots that unfolded during the 1938 November pogroms, also known as Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass, in public events throughout Latin America, attended by dignitaries, Jewish community members and special guests.
During two dark nights on Nov. 8 and 9 of 1938 in Germany and Austria, more than 1,000 synagogues were set on fire, thousands of Jewish-owned businesses were destroyed and countless Jewish homes and community centers were plundered. More than 96 Jews were killed.
In Uruguay last night, 700 people attended a remembrance, including Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou, who opened the commemoration with a candle lighting to honor the memories of those who were killed in Israel by Hamas in a new pogrom on Oct. 7, joined by B’nai B’rith Director of Latin American Affairs Eduardo Kohn, Hamas massacre survivor Chen Moshe Mizrachi and two Jewish community leaders. Keynote speaker Fernando Lottenberg, Organization of American States commissioner to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, emphasized the global and Latin American rise in anti-Semitism, urging that governments need to actively protect the rights of their Jewish citizens. Lottenberg highlighted a recent document signed by all special envoys for Combating Anti-Semitism that calls on governments to ensure the safety of their Jewish communities, combat increasing anti-Semitism and unequivocally condemn Hamas and its proxies.
B’nai B’rith Argentina held an interfaith event at the Church Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, attended by European ambassadors and religious leaders. Keynote speaker Maria Fabiana Loguzzo, ambassador to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (known as IHRA) and representative for Combating Anti-Semitism, stressed the importance of fighting the new wave of anti-Semitism in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war. Rabbi Silvina Chemen emphasized the need to declare Hamas as terrorists, highlighting that terrorism poses a threat to all, not just the Jewish people.
In Peru, a commemoration was hosted at a church in Lima to remember the November Pogroms of 1938 and to demand the safe return of hostages taken by Hamas on Oct. 7 this year. The German and Austrian ambassadors led the event alongside rabbis.
A month into the Israel-Hamas war, when terrorists infiltrated Israel with the intention of annihilating the Jewish state, the November Pogroms anniversary reminds us that pogroms against Jews are not confined to the past.
A commemoration in Costa Rica is scheduled for Nov. 21.