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Germany Commemorates the 73rd Anniversary of Pogroms on 9 November 1938


Several events will be held across Germany today to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the November 1938 pogroms.

The pogroms, also known as Kristallnacht, were a series of attacks against Jews throughout Germany and parts of Austria on November 9-10, 1938.

In Munich, the names of the victims were read aloud during a commemoration ceremony.  Frankfurt am Main held a central memorial ceremony in Paulskirche with speeches by the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, and Frankfurt mayor Petra Roth.  Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit will attend a memorial service for the Jewish community in the Charlottenburg neighborhood.

Berlin also honored Wilhelm Krützfeld, a Berlin police lieutenant who saved the synagogue on Oranienburger Straβe from being destroyed on the night of 9 November 1938.  Artist Gerhard Hoffmann has created a sculpture in the shape of a large heart entitled "A Heart Travels Through Berlin" that is dedicated to Krützfeld and currently on display at Berlin police headquarters.

In Speyer, where the synagogue was destroyed in 1938, a new synagogue was officially inaugurated by German President Christian Wulff.  Around 250 guests were invited to hear President Wulff's speech and participate in the commemoration ceremony at the newly opened synagogue, which is called the "House of Peace."