The memorial service for the victims of the night of terror was linked this year with the topping-out ceremony of the new community house and Synagogue.
Half an hour before, Lord Mayor Lauer for the City and Heinrich Olmer for the Jewish Community laid wreaths at the Synagogue memorial. There were no speeches, but in the presence of a good number of people, a two minutes’ silence was observed.
Those present then proceeded to the topping-out ceremony, which I have already reported.
The Interessengemeinschaft Synagoge arranged a tour of the former Jewish quarter of Altenkunstadt (where in 1800, the majority of inhabitants were Jewish).
Ending up in front of the Synagogue, candles were lit and a minute’s silence was observed to remember the horror of the 9 November 1938.
The annual ecumencial remembrance meeting under the motto “Dangerous Memories” is by now a long established event, proceeding with almost the same programme.
This year, Chriss Fiebig brought a Menorah and placed a large Star of David on the floor in front of the altar in the lower chuch..
She was impressed by the attendance, particularly by the many young people this year.
Chriss blessed the wine and the bread she had brought, pronounced the Aronitic blessing and recited the Kaddish. The catholic and protestant clerics read biblical texts. psalms and modern liturgy. The several biblical texts and prayers were interspersed with tunes by the Klezmer group Sirba from Nürnberg. After the remembrance service, the group gave a concert.
I have no room to report every item of the programme, but I shall summarise Chriss’s remarks. She referred to positive and negative occurrences during the year, 65 years after the 9/10 November 1938.
Positive, because foundation stones were laid for two synagogues (in Bamberg and Munich). Also the fact that the immigration of Russian Jews had made it possible for Jewish communities established after the War, which would have died out by now, to survive, if they take their responsibilities seriously.
Negative. because three members of two parties, which carry the term “Christian” in their titles, have made antisemitic remarks. The outcry by the management of the parties was too muted, to start with at least.
Chriss closed by appealing to those who would prefer to draw a line under the past to open their hearts and learn to understand, that forgetting and repressing the past would lead to new hatred, oppression and violence.
45 people, including a good many young people were taken to the beautiful cemetery by Dr. Raja Nadler. She talked about the events of 9 November 1938 and the history of the Jews in the village. She reported that the participants had many questions, which she tried to answer.
After the tour, people moved to the Synagogue, where candles were lit and the Kadish was recited.
On the evening before, there was a reading by Reinhard Knodt of his own texts in remembrance of the night of terror on 9 November 1938, with music by the flautist Eliabeth Riessbeck.
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© by Thomas Starz