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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Night of Broken Glass remembered

Published: November 17, 2006
Section: News

Thursday night at 8 p.m., students, faculty, and community members gathered at Wasserman Cinematheque to commemorate Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, with an evening of poetry, monologues, and viewing of the movie The Power of Good, as well as a Students Taking Action Now in Darfur (STAND) presentation.

This annual event, organized by the Holocaust Remembrance Committee, which is a subgroup of Hillel, is designed to Commemorate those who perished in the Holocaust, and teach about those who did not remain quiet in a time when most people did not stand up to save those who were suffering, stated Holocaust Remembrance Committee co-president Elana Levi 07.

The program was co-sponsored by Hillel, STAND, The National Center for Jewish Film, Center for German and European Studies, Tauber Institute, the American Studies Department, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Catholic Student Organization, the Orthodox Christian Organization, and the Catholic Chaplaincy.

At the end of this program the Holocaust Remembrance Committee and STAND introduced their year-long project Dimes for Darfur.

The project, first introduced at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, began when that university collected 1.5 million dimes to represent the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust.
STAND president Matt Rogers 08 stated, STAND was asked to participate [in the Kristallnacht Remembrance Ceremony] to connect the idea that one person can make a difference in present-day response to Darfur.

STANDs presentation was led by Jake Yarmus 10 and Evan Greene-Lowe 10.

The Holocaust Remembrance Committee, in partnership with STAND, will be helping this effort by collecting as many dimes as possible this year, which will be donated to help suffering women and children in Darfur.

Last year, UNC, in collaboration with a few other universities, raised $15,000 for this cause that they donated in full to Mercy Corps, an organization working in Darfur. This years funds will be split up to a few different organizations including the Jewish World Watch, which has a program to buy solar cookers for women in refugee camps so that they will not have to make the dangerous trip to find firewood.
It is important for us to also remember those who are suffering today in Darfur and to do our part to end the genocide that is taking place there, stated Levi.

We have been told that we must learn about the Holocaust in order to make sure that genocide never takes place again, and it is our goal to not only remember the Holocaust, but learn new ways that we can end the genocide taking place today, stated Levi.

Kristallnacht, the “Crystal Night” or “the Night of Broken Glass,” was the violent anti-Jewish pogrom that took place Nov. 9 and 10, 1938 across Germany and parts of Austria. Jewish-owned homes, stores and synagogues were ransacked and windows were shattered by citizens and stormtroopers. As buildings burned in villages and towns across Germany, firefighters were instructed to do nothing.
Levi explained in her introduction to the event that this was one of the first outright acts against Jews of the Holocaust.

The evening's events were meant not just to remember the destruction and despair of that night, but to highlight the heroes of that evening and of the Holocaust.

The Power of Good, shown at the Kristallnacht ceremony, is the true-story film about an English stockbroker named Nicholas Winton who saved 669 children from definite death by bringing them to England from Czechoslovakia. Winton never told anyone of what he had done, and his past was only uncovered when his wife discovered his scrapbook in 1988.

The idea for the film came from the memoirs of one of the children Winton saved, British author Vera Gissing.

The movie is amazing and shows how one man took it upon himself to save the lives of hundreds of children and then never told anyone, stated Levi.

The movie stresses how people began to see him for the true hero that he is, said Levi.

The Holocaust Remembrance Committee, aside from last nights event, also plans Holocaust Remembrance Day in April as well as a few other Holocaust programs every year.

Usually we work with different departments at Brandeis, and the Brandeis faculty is very helpful in putting together these events, stated Levi.

Brandeis religious leaders, Assistant Dean of Student Life Alwina Bennett, and Professor Ibrahim Sundhiata all participated in lighting one of the six memorial candles at the Kristallancht ceremony to remember the 6 billion people who died in the Holocaust.