B’nai B’rith Commemorates the 81st Anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass Throughout Latin America
(Washington, D.C., Nov. 20, 2019)--Throughout November, B’nai B’rith International held commemorations across Latin America to remember Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass. In 1938, on Nov. 9 and 10, Nazis terrorized Jewish neighborhoods throughout Germany, Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia, killing almost 100 Jews, dragging 30,000 to concentration camps, vandalizing thousands of Jewish businesses and burning and destroying synagogues.
In Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Brazil, Panama, Ecuador and Uruguay, B’nai B’rith held remembrance programs marking the 81st anniversary of Kristallnacht.
For the last 26 years, B’nai B’rith Argentina has organized Kristallnacht memorial ceremonies. This year’s event took place in the capital city, Buenos Aires, where Christians and Jews shared a solemn interfaith and remembrance event in the San Ildefonso Church. Vice President of B´nai B´rith Argentina Susana Chalon spoke on behalf of B´nai B´rith. Secretary of Human Rights of Argentina Claudio Avruj, political leaders and members of the Jewish Christian Confraternity attended.
The Christian College Rhena in São Paulo hosted the commemoration and debuted an exhibit entitled “Never forget the lessons of the Holocaust.” President of B´nai B´rith Brazil Abraham Goldstein was one of the keynote speakers.
B’nai B’rith Uruguay hosted more than 600 people on Nov. 12 for its memorial ceremony. The keynote speaker was Rector of the Catholic University in Uruguay Julio Fernandez, who delivered a memorable speech about the necessity of education to face horrors like the Holocaust. The central candle of the menorah was lit by the country’s two presidential candidates who face off in a runoff election on Nov. 24: Daniel Martinez of Frente Amplio and Luis Lacalle Pou of the Blanco Party. The event was attended by former President of Uruguay Julio Sanguinetti, the current president of the Supreme Court of Justice and members of the Supreme Court, senators, Cardinal Daniel Sturla, bishops, congressmen, ambassadors from 12 countries and political leaders from all parties.
B’nai B’rith Costa Rica held a remarkable Kristallnacht commemoration ceremony with a great keynote speaker: Elizabeth Odio Beniti, judge in the Inter American Court of Human Rights and former Costa Rican vice president.
B´nai B´rith Venezuela hosted its commemoration of the Night of Broken Glass in its hall in Caracas. The keynote speaker was EU Ambassador Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa.
Foreign Minister of Ecuador Jose Valencia hosted event attended by 200 people at the foreign ministry in Quito. The core issue of the commemoration was the presentation of the book by Oscar Vela about Antonio Muñoz Borrero, who saved tens of Jews while he was an Ecuadorian consul in Stockholm between 1935 and 1942.
B´nai B´rith Panama hosted an event before hundreds of attendees. The keynote speaker was Gabriel Ben Tasgal, Israeli university professor, Director of the Hasbara program Hatzad Hasheni, who coordinated with Director of the B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem Alan Schneider a very recent successful mission of Latin American journalists and politicians to Israel.
In Santiago, Chile, there was a joint Jewish Christian commemoration and the keynote speaker was German Ambassador to Chile Christian Ellbach.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org