The lingering touch of history

Today it is 75 years since Kristallnacht, a series of coordinated attacks against Jews throughout Germany and parts of Austria on 9–10 November 1938.

At the time, my grandparents and my father lived in Spandau in Berlin. My grandfather was a member of a synagogue, not sure if it was the Fasanenstrasse Synagogue. Anyway, the synagogue was burned down on the night and the elders recovered as much as they could. They distributed prayer shawls and caps to the congregation.

Inevitably, my grandfather left Berlin to come to England, while my grandmother and father remained and, having survived, joined him after the war.

He brought with him the prayer shawl he was given, which bore scorch marks from the fire. I will never forget the sight of this.

All three are now gone. They were lucky. But their memory and the memory of this event remains with me as a reminder of how we should each act and our responsibilities to each other.

Posted in a musing.

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