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Tue Nov 12, 2019, 02:39 AM

On the Anniversary of Kristallnacht and the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Remembering East Germany's Jews

It was mid-September 1988, and while shuffling through the mail in my Budapest apartment, I came upon an oversize envelope inviting me, as a journalist, to cover the events of the 50th anniversary of Kristallnacht on Nov. 9 in Berlin. That was not unusual since the city of West Berlin and the rest of the Federal Republic—West Germany—marked the event in scores of towns, villages and cities. As well they should, of course.

I did a double take. This envelope came from the press office of the East German government, the German Democratic Republic, and after a few phone calls to friends in the press corps in West Germany, they were as surprised as I was.

---snip---

Word was that Erich Honecker, head of East Germany’s Communist Party, was trying to secure legitimacy for his country, and since Romania’s dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, had managed to secure Most Favored Nation Trading status from the United States—mostly because he allowed the Jewish community to function and receive financial support from America—Honecker was keen to deal a Jewish card he’d never played before.

And did he ever play it. Over a two-day period in East Berlin there would be an exhibition on the history of Jews in Berlin (the first in East Germany’s history), a special session of the East German parliament, a rededication of the giant, ruined synagogue on Oranienburgerstrasse, which was going to be rebuilt as a Jewish museum, and an evening performance by the Berlin Symphony Orchestra.

Honecker would never see a return on his investment, because exactly one year later, on Nove. 9, 1989, Berliners would be tearing away at the Berlin Wall, and he himself would be sitting at home, watching history unfold on TV. Having been fired a few weeks earlier, he would soon be on trial and the German Democratic Republic would be erased from the map.

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Reply On the Anniversary of Kristallnacht and the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Remembering East Germany's Jews (Original post)
Behind the Aegis Nov 12 OP
byronius Nov 12 #1
Judi Lynn Nov 12 #2
wnylib Nov 12 #3

Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Nov 12, 2019, 02:41 AM

1. Great post.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Nov 12, 2019, 05:06 AM

2. Never could forget the shock of reading what Kristallnacht was. How could people behave that way?

Never could understand, and the human race doesn't seem to advanced noticeably to this moment. Monsters still around.

Thanks for your post, a reminder for some, and a sign others should try to find out what they haven't learned, yet, about what happened there. It's no small matter.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Nov 12, 2019, 11:08 PM

3. Never again. A slogan for everyone, including

non Jewish people. Especially non Jewish people, who should never again sink so low or stand by while people around them do.

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