Dozens of people gathered at Temple Israel of Greater Miami Sunday night for a program titled “Kristallnacht: The Spark That Ignited the Holocaust.”
The somber service commemorated Kristallnacht, also known as the Night of Broken Glass, when coordinated attacks in Germany and parts of Austria on November 9-10, 1938, led to the deaths of 91 Jews and the incarceration of 30,000 in concentration camps. Temples were ransacked and Jewish-owned stores were looted.
Otto Reich, former United States Ambassador to Venezuela and a senior adviser to three U.S. presidents, was the keynote speaker of the program, which was sponsored by the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, a committee of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. Other speakers included Israeli Consul General in Miami Lior Haiat, who spoke about “The Strength of Israel Today.”
Students from Guitars Not Guns, a not-for-profit organization that provides guitars and lessons to foster children and at-risk youth as an alternative to violence, performed a peace-themed tribute.
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“2016 has provided ample evidence of the continuing relevance of the message of the Holocaust Memorial about the need to stand up against discrimination of minorities,” said Andrew Hall, chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach in a news release. “We are committed to remembering the tragedy that befell Jews and others during the Shoah, and to standing up for the rights of those who may be oppressed.”