B’nai B’rith remembers Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, which took place across Europe on Nov. 9 and 10, 1938. During that horrendous time, at least 91 Jews were killed and innumerable synagogues, Jewish-owned stores, community centers, and homes were attacked, looted, and destroyed. B’nai B’rith Venezuela, Costa Rica, Argentina, and Cuba held remembrance events throughout the week.B’nai B’rith Argentina organized a commemoration program at Iglesia del Pilar church with the support of the Argentina Jewish-Christian Confraternity and the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires. On Nov. 10, more than 400 people heard readings and remarks and participated in a candle-lighting ceremony.
On Nov. 9, B’nai B’rith Venezuela opened its doors to diplomats, national personalities, Holocaust survivors, and members of the Jewish community to remember the victims of Kristallnacht, including Susy Iglicki, a witness to the horrors of Kristallnacht,. Daniel Rafecas, federal judge of the Republic of Argentina in the city of Buenos Aires and keynote speaker, analyzed the Nazi bureaucratic structure that allowed these atrocities to occur. B’nai B’rith Costa Rica organized a commemoration program with candle-lighting ceremony at the Synagogue of the Zionist Israelite Center of Costa Rica (CIS). With more than 500 people attending, the solemn ceremony featured prominent government officials including Vice President Luis Liberman and President of the Supreme Court of Justice Luis Paulino Mora, who spoke at length about the key role of B’nai B’rith in keeping the memory of Kristallnacht alive.
B’nai B’rith Cuba’s Maimonides Lodge organized a commemoration of Kristallnacht at the Sephardic Hebrew Center of Havana. Throughout the ceremony, exhibited materials testified to the memory of the Holocaust in different parts from the world. The display was donated by Stanley Cohen, International chairman of the B'nai B'rith Cuban Jewish Relief Project. The solemn program ended with the singing of Hatikvah. “Continued remembrance of Kristallnacht ensures that each new generation learns of the legacy of the Jewish communities terrorized by this horrific event,” said B’nai B’rith International Dennis W. Glick. “This shared memory reminds us all of the violence of the past, that it might not be repeated in the future.”
“The world shares the burden of the atrocities of Kristallnacht,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “The more time passes, the more important community support of remembrance events is in order to perpetuate the memory of this tragedy of monumental proportions.”