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German Culture Week Protests; Crystal Night Recalled

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The Gahal faction of this city’s Municipal Council cabled today a protest to the Mayor for assuming sponsorship over the German Culture Week events to be held here. Meanwhile, a delegation of World War II partisans and fighters against Nazis met with Mayor Yehoshua Rabinowitz and expressed profound protest against the Culture Week which coincides with the anniversary of the infamous “crystal night.”

During the nights of Nov. 9-10 in 1938, Nazis in Germany and Austria destroyed Jewish businesses, synagogues, community buildings and apartment houses in what was the first major step in the planned program of genocide against European Jewry. In Germany. Nazi stormtroopers damaged 7,500 Jewish businesses and set 191 synagogues ablaze totally destroying 76. Eleven Jewish community buildings were destroyed. More than 20,000 Jews were arrested, 36 were killed and 36 seriously injured. In Austria, 78 synagogues and 45 cemeteries were burned or otherwise devastated.

A spokesman for the Mayor expressed regret that the timing of the week coincided with that anniversary and explained this was due to oversight. Nevertheless, it was learned that the municipality will not withdraw from participation in the Culture Week. “We bad already six or seven culture weeks of various nations and we have promised to the West German Ambassador to carry out a similar culture week of German culture,” the spokesman said.

A German Embassy spokesman said here last night that “German weeks have been arranged in Israel previously-there was even a German film week-and no protest was made against it. On the contrary,” he continued, “there were complaints that the film week was held in Tel Aviv only and people in Haifa and Jerusalem asked that they should benefit from such events.” Because of such protests, it has been decided to extend the German Cultures Week to Haifa and Jerusalem as well.

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