In a departure from convention, a group of Muslims youth participated at a memorial in Berlin marking the 76th year of Kristallnacht. Also known as the “Night of Broken Glass” for the glass storefronts of Jewish businesses and synagogues that were shattered and smashed on November 9 and 10th in 1938, Kristallnacht foretold the coming Holocaust.
Organized by Chabad and K-Spice, the memorial took place last week in the Neukölln neighborhood, home to many Muslims and a place where Jews are often the target of harassment and physical abuse by Muslim youth.
“When the Nazis burned down synagogues and the neighbors did nothing, today everyone understands that this cannot be allowed to ever happen again. Our neighbors need to comprehend that when someone is doing wrong, they need to stand up in protest,” Rabbi Yehudah Teichtel, Chabad representative to Berlin and one of the city’s chief rabbis, told the crowd.
“Jews, Christians and Muslims need to live together in peace, without synagogues or mosques becoming a target of hate, arson or desecration.”
Raed Saleh is a member of Social Democrats political party and Palestinian born Muslim, who has advocated for Holocaust education and aggressive education against anti-Semitism in the city’s school. “There is no place for anti-Semitism in Europe and especially in Berlin,” he said at the memorial.
“In light of what happened in the past, anti-Semitism cannot be a part of German society. For Germans the fall of the Berlin wall happened twenty-five years ago. For Jews, Kristallnacht happened yesterday. The glass is still broken and lying on the edge of the streets.”
Participants urged acceptance and tolerance as the most meaningful memorial.