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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
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Kristallnacht: A Family Recollection

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A village employee who had accompanied us said proudly, “Soon we will be placing a memorial stone here.” My father answered in disgust, “You burn our synagogues, force us out of our homes and try to exterminate us. And now you think a stone marker will make everything all right?” He shook his head. “We Jews are still here and will never forget.”

Now, seventy-five years after Kristallnacht and as my father’s third yahrzeit approaches, his words still echo in my mind.

“We Jews are still here and we will never forget.”

About the Author: Ed Lion is a former reporter for United Press International now living in the Poconos.


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More Articles from Ed Lion
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The world wars caused unimaginable anguish for the Jews but God also scripted a great glory for our people.

Bar mitzvah boy Ed Lion, flanked by his parents.

The risks were great, but certain death awaited them if they remained. The gamble paid off, though the family was separated for the next four years of the war.

Beyond the severe discomfort there was also the danger of getting sunk by enemy submarines prowling the seas.

As his bomber lost altitude with the ground rushing up, my father remembered his last thought: “How am I going to get out of this?

Seventy-five years ago on November 10 the Nazis unleashed a wave of terror, destruction and death known as Kristallnacht upon Germany’s Jews, a fearsome presage of the Holocaust. On that day, the childhood of my then-12-year-old father, Kurt Lion, of blessed memory, was abruptly and savagely ended.

Forty years ago this week, Jews the world over watched in agony as Arab terrorists kidnapped and eventually massacred eleven Israeli Olympic athletes. The International Olympic Committee, bowing to Arab pressure, has repeatedly refused these Israelis a proper commemoration. But we as Jews ought to pay them the tribute of remembering their individual lives, deeds, and accomplishments.

Half a century ago in May, Israel hanged Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann for overseeing Germany’s extermination of six million European Jews, fully one-third of the world’s prewar Jewish population. The murder of the six million staggers the mind. Such a vast breadth of our people, each of them with his own individual dreams, loves and aspirations, exterminated.

Judaism holds that nothing happens by chance, that everything is orchestrated by Hashem. And so it was long ago on a Sunday morning, about a month after Pesach when my father ran an errand for his parents.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/kristallnacht-a-family-recollection/2013/11/06/

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