(November 12, 2018 / JNS) The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations commemorated the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, or “Night of the Broken Glass,” last week at the United Nations.
“Anti-Semitism is back, and it needs to be fought as the crime it is,” said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres.
He called on leaders and governments “to clearly denounce and make evident the real risk of anti-Semitism in our societies today.”
Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO and vice chair of the Conference of Presidents, gave Guterres a two-volume set of books titled Pogrom Night 1938, published by Beit Ashkenaz. It presents the history of German Jewish communities that were destroyed by Nazi pogroms.
“In the work are descriptions of every community, and many pictures of the synagogues before and after Nov. 9, 1938,” according to a statement from the Conference of Presidents. “His research found more than 1,400 synagogues and prayer houses had been attacked—far more than many historians previously believed. He cited that eventful and tragic night as the end of the deniability for Germany.”
Guterres acknowledged those words, saying “everybody knew, everyone saw what happened in every village and city. Only the truth can allow humanity to progress. If we hide the past, we will never be able to overcome it.”