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September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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