Conservative Leader Urges Commemoration of Kristallnacht

A Conservative leader has urged observance of the 40th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Rabbi Saul Teplitz, president of the Rabbinical Assembly, the association of Conservative rabbis, said the synagogue was a prime target of the Nazis on the night of Nov. 10, 1938, and its role should therefore be emphasized on the anniversary of the event some historians believe marks the start of the Holocaust.

Kristallnacht got its name from the fragments scattered in the Nazi-led smashing of Jewish shop windows. At the same time, synagogues were set to the torch, every male Jew between the ages of 16 and 60 was arrested and a fine of one billion marks was levelled against Jewish property.

Not the least of the lessons of Kristallnacht, said Teplitz, is that the Nazis, fully unmasked, suffered little adverse international reaction. “It was a lesson that was not lost on them.” To commemorate the date, Teplitz urged, in a message to Conservative rabbis, that synagogue services on Friday, Nov. 10, include the recitation of Psalm 79 and Ezekiel 37;1-14.

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