Kristallnacht, the ‘Night of Broken Glass’

Kristallnacht, the ‘Night of Broken Glass’

On Thursday, Nov. 14, Wagner College marked the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” with a luncheon lecture by Reni Hanau, a survivor of the Nazi terror. New York 1 multimedia journalist Colleen Hagerty reported in this story about the program:

Complete Video of the Event:

The program featuring Kristallnacht survivor Reni Hanau opened with a candlelighting ceremony in remembrance of all those killed during the Holocaust.

Also speaking were history professor Lori Weintrob and students Anna Huddle and Julia Teichman. Teichman’s family includes several Holocaust survivors, including her paternal grandfather, who fought in the Resistance movement in Austria.

Here is a rough video recording of the complete program:

[brightcove videoID=2839037703001 playerID=1497052592001 width=80 align="aligncenter"]

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.