On Thursday, Nov. 14 at 11:30 a.m., Wagner College will mark the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” with a luncheon lecture by Reni Hanau, a survivor of the Nazi terror. Also speaking will be Wagner College students Anna Huddle and Julia Teichman, both of whom are interns at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Teichman's family includes several Holocaust survivors, including her paternal grandfather, who fought in the Resistance movement in Austria.
The program will be held in the college’s Union Building 201. (Changed from the Faculty Dining Room.) It will open with a candlelighting ceremony in remembrance of all those killed during the Holocaust.
The entire Wagner College community — students, faculty and staff — is invited. While there is no cost for this luncheon event, organizers ask that those expecting to attend RSVP no later than Tuesday, Nov. 12 by calling 718-390-3253 or emailing LRWeintr@wagner.edu.
On Kristallnacht — Nov. 9-10, 1938 — Nazi storm troopers and sympathizers raided and destroyed thousands of Jewish homes, shops and synagogues. Ninety-one Jews were killed and 30,000 Jewish men were taken away. Many of those men were released a few months later; they and their families were encouraged to leave Germany. Among those men was Reni Hanau’s father, who had been interned at Buchenwald.
Hanau’s family lived in Fulda, in central Germany, a medium-sized city that had 1,100 Jewish residents in 1930 — and just 17 in 1967.
Reni Hanau remembers watching her home burn down on Kristallnacht. After her father was released from Buchenwald, in June 1939, her family fled to England, where they were interned for more than a year on the Isle of Mann as “enemy aliens.” They left for the United States in September 1940.
Reni Hanau graduated from the City College of New York and taught for 30 years in the New York City school system. From the time she retired, in 1991, until 1994, she taught ESL to Russian immigrants. She is a Museum of Jewish Heritage gallery educator and Speakers Bureau member.
This luncheon lecture is co-sponsored by the History Department, History Club, Hillel and Chai Society of Wagner College.