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Calgary's Jewish community remembers The Night of Broken Glass

Last Updated Nov 10, 2018 at 12:21 pm PDT

Jean-Pierre Dalbéra: Flickr.

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – On the morning of November 10th, 1938, Jewish communities were waking to both heartbreak and devastation.

It was on the night of the 9th when Jews in Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland were attacked. More than 200 synagogues were destroyed, more than 7,000 Jewish businesses damaged and varying reports of murders were paired with 30,000 Jewish men arrested and incarcerated in the concentration camps that would become synonymous with the Nazi regime and the hatred that went along with it.

It was called the Night of Broken Glass or Kristallnacht because of the shards of glass that littered streets.

Ilana Krygier Lapides is with the Calgary Jewish Federation. She says this was the result of years of hate speech, and a sign of even worse things to come.

“This is one of the examples of words turning to violence. Basically, this is when the Jewish people in Germany realized that the writing was on the wall, that no one was coming to their aid.”

Daniel Koren is with the B’nai Brith. That Jewish organization has been tracking acts of antisemitism since 1982.

He says 2016 and 2017 are the most violent on record in Canada.

“It hits close to home, it’s a worrying trend. It’s hateful rhetoric and it is targeting the Jewish community. What a lot of people don’t realize is the Jewish community remains the most targeted identity group in Canada.”

While he says Justin Trudeau’s apology for turning away Jewish refugees is a positive step, much more needs to be done to stop the tides of antisemitism.

“While we like the apology, we’d also like to see a concrete action plan to combat antisemitism. A national action plan that countries such as France and Norway have established in their countries.”

Krygier Lapides believes there are signs of hope, even after hateful acts like in Pittsburgh.

“We were fortunate we had over a thousand people at a vigil last week. There representatives from all ethnicities, cultures, and religions that came to stand shoulder to shoulder with us to show their support and it was so heartening.”