PRESS RELEASE: Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach to Commemorate 76th Anniversary of Kristallnacht with Community Ceremony
Holocaust survivors will join hundreds of local residents to commemorate one of the most tragic events in modern Jewish history, as the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, a Committee of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, observes the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, on Sunday, November 9, at 6 p.m. The ceremony will take place at the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, 1933-1945 Meridian Avenue, with a program of inspirational addresses, poetry readings, musical performances and remembrances.
The Kristallnacht commemoration is free of charge and open to the public. Free parking will be available in the municipal parking lot directly to the south of the Holocaust Memorial. In case of rain, the program will be held at Temple Emanu-El, 1701 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach.
The keynote address will be delivered by Erica Leib of Aventura, who was a teenager on Kristallnacht in 1938 when the Gestapo and brown-shirted Nazi sympathizers invaded and tore apart her family’s apartment in Vienna, Austria. She will provide eyewitness testimony about the kindness of a building janitor who hid her family in the immediate aftermath of Kristallnacht. She also will describe her family’s escape from Vienna and their flight through various countries before settling on the Isle of Wight off the coast of Great Britain.
Other speakers will include Andrew C. Hall, Esq., Chair of the Holocaust Memorial; Chaim Shacham, Consul General of Israel to Florida and Puerto Rico; Barbara Black Goldfarb, a Past Chair of the Board of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation; and Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, renowned Holocaust studies educator. The program will feature memorial songs by cantors from various congregations throughout South Florida and participation by teenagers attending the 2015 March of the Living.
Widely considered to be a major turning point in Hitler’s campaign to annihilate the Jewish people, Kristallnacht was marked by a series of coordinated attacks in Germany and parts of Austria on November 9-10, 1938, which caused the deaths of 91 Jews and the incarceration of 30,000 in concentration camps. The streets were covered with broken glass from the shattered windows of Jewish-owned buildings, stores and synagogues that were vandalized and looted during the attacks.
The Kristallnacht program is sponsored by the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, a committee of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. It is supported by the City of Miami Beach Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council, and the Florida Department of Education. Wendy Reiss Rothfield is the Chair of the Kristallnacht program.
For more information, visit www.HolocaustMemorialMiamiBeach.org or call 305.538.1663.