“Kristallnacht” Precursor to the Holocaust

Commemorating 75 Years

Sonoma County Organizations Present: “Kristallnacht” Precursor to the Holocaust

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A special event commemorating the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht (“the night of the shattered glass”) will be held on Nov. 10 from 3:30 to 5:30 pm at Congregation Shomrei Torah in Santa Rosa. 

The Yom Hashoah Committee of the Sonoma County Jewish Community Center is hosting the event, “Understanding the Evolution of Genocides.” The program will place Kristallnacht in the context of a common pattern of genocides that has tragically happened in many other groups.  Many local organizations have signed on as co-sponsors. 

The afternoon will include Kristallnacht survivors Betty Kale and Alfred and Susanne Batzdorff, as well as images, music, and poetry in commemoration of the victims of genocide. 

A keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Sergio La Porta, the Haig and Isabel Berberian Professor of Armenian Studies at California State University, Fresno. 

Dr. La Porta taught Armenian and Religious Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is currently the chair of the Armenian Genocide Centennial--Fresno Committee that is preparing for the commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in 2015.

“Kristallnacht is known as the night of shattered glass for the thousands of synagogue windows and store fronts destroyed on Nov.9-10, 1938 in Germany and Austria,” said Gesher Calmenson, Chair of the Planning Committee. “It marked the progression from repression and ostracism to the wholesale physical destruction of Judaism’s religious, economic, and cultural roots.”

The event is free and open to the public. Congregation Shomrei Torah is located at 2600 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa.

Co-sponsors include the Alliance for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide, Armenians of the North Bay, Armenian National Committee-San Francisco Bay Area, B’nai Israel Jewish Center, Committee for Immigrant Rights Sonoma County (CIRSC), Community Church of Sebastopol, Congregation Beth Ami, Congregation Ner Shalom, Congregation Shomrei Torah, Faith Lutheran Church of Santa Rosa, Friends of Rwanda Association (FORA), Jewish Community Center (Sonoma County), Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Sonoma County, the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies & Understanding, Redwood Forest Friends Meeting, Sonoma State University’s Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Rosa, and La Voz Bilingual Newspaper. 

For additional information, contact Gesher Calmenson at develop@sonic.net.