Kristallnacht, also known as “The Night of Broken Glass” began November 9, 1938 in Germany. On that night, Germans began attacking Jews in full force.
Over the course of two days, synagogues were burned, and Jewish businesses, cemeteries, hospitals and schools were ransacked and destroyed. Jewish homes were also trashed and looted and many Jews were killed.
The morning after these pogroms, the round-up started. Thousands of Jewish men were sent to concentration camps.
This day would have slipped past me if I hadn’t been listening to the radio last night when a local radio personality mentioned it.
As a commemoration of this horrible time in human history, here are seven places I’ve visited that have left me feeling somber and reflective. Each are places I think should be on a list of must sees. Feel free to add your own based on where you have been.
Anne Frank’s house and museum in Amsterdam. Although the rooms are bare, when you see the stairs that were once hidden behind the bookcase that lead to the attic where Anne lived with her family, you can get the feeling of hope and desperation that the Franks must have felt when they went into hiding. Anne’s diary is also on display.
Danish Resistance Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark. Sometimes small countries can foil a bully. This museum offers a look at how the Danes would not bow down to German might. During their struggle against the Germans, many Jews were helped to safety in Sweden.
Josefov, the Jewish Quarter in Prague, Czech Republic. Still well-preserved, you can see six synagogues and the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe.
Monument to the Heroes in the Warsaw Ghetto, Warsaw, Poland- This monument is located in what was once the heart of the Warsaw Ghetto where Jews were forced to live. It symbolizes their enormous resistance movement.
Auschwitz concentration camp outside of Krakow, Poland–Now a World Heritage site, this camp is a well-preserved documentation of how dastardly humanity can be. The grounds are lovely which adds to its horror.
Dachau outside of Munich, Germany- This was the first concentration camp and served as a model for the others. There is a memorial here written in several languages that says, “Never again.”
The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, California. Although the Holocaust is a substantial part of this museum, the purpose of the exhibits is to teach and promote tolerance among all people.