I was spellbound hearing speakers on the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht in The Hampton Synagogue.
Under the brilliant and charismatic leadership of Rabbi Marc Schneier, the congregation heard from world leaders David Gill, the Consul General of Germany in New York City, and Dani Dayan, former Consul General of Israel and now chairman of Jersualem’s Yad Vashem.
They each spoke boldly about the cursed night in 1938 in Austria and Germany when Nazis came through Jewish towns and smashed thousands of their windows, destroyed their businesses, synagogues and homes and sent thousands of people to concentration camps. It was the beginning of what was one of the deadliest, ugliest times in our world’s history: the Holocaust.
Both men spoke compellingly to the congregation about the need to never forget the acts of cruelty committed to each of the 6 million young and old murdered during the Holocaust.
I was so moved by how their words created an image of a little girl being squeezed into her synagogue with all her family and community and then burnt to death by the Nazis in their holy place of prayer. It was heartbreaking to hear.
I agreed wholeheartedly when the speakers reminded us that each of those 6 million people lost were people whose life stories must be told!
I thought about having our newspapers run a series of stories about those lost. We must be remembering on many levels. By telling their stories, their lives will live on as we work to ensure that a similar tragedy will never happen again.
The members of the congregation gave a standing ovation to Dayan as his voice rang out, urging us all to never forget the lives lost as a result of the Holocaust.
Both foreign leaders emphasized the importance of attacking anti-Semitism whenever and wherever it occurs, without condition!
Dayan reminded us that in the 1930s, people didn’t understand or believe anti-Semitism could go to such monstrous dimensions. But today, we know just how bad things can get. And as Dayan said, “We must fight against trivialization of the Holocaust” and never allow it to happen again.
Nothing was more moving to me when I visited Yad Vashem, the memorial to the Holocaust in Jersualem. Tears rolled down my eyes as I heard the names of those lost called out one by one — 6 million souls stolen away by hatred. They must be remembered.
A week of happenings
A busy week included attending The 81st Dinner Dance to support the New York City Post SAME Scholarship Fund, Inc. The gala was held at Casa Cipriani, a group offering six-star hospitality. This location is in the brilliantly restored Battery Park Marine Terminal sitting on the East River.
On a sunny Sunday, I found my way to the 8-acre sculpture farm/home of my friend, world renowned sculptor Hans Van de Bovenkamp.
He kindly lent the town of Westhampton four of his famous award-winning masterpieces. But they are all for sale and hopefully they find a permanent home!