Gala on Kristallnacht riles German Jews


A German politician has angered the Jewish community by sponsoring a gala on the anniversary of Kristallnacht.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany lashed out at the governor of the state of Baden-Wurttemberg for agreeing to sponsor his state’s Press Ball on Nov. 9. The group’s general secretary, Stephan Kramer, said Tuesday that Gunther Oettinger should have rejected the date for the gala.

Coincidentally, the date also is the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, marking the beginning of the end of two separate German states.

Oettinger has said he would not drop his sponsorship of the event, which draws some 2,000 celebrities from the worlds of politics, business, arts and society. But he did agree to remove dance music from the program, and reportedly the Jewish community of Wurttemberg approved of the plan.

In an invitation to a program commemorating Kristallnacht, the community said it “hoped that the meaning of the 9th of November would be taken more seriously in the future.”

In April, Oettinger drew criticism for delivering a eulogy in which he called his political predecessor, the former Nazi judge Hans Filbinger, an “opponent of dictatorship.”


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