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Rabbi Israel Meir Lau to Speak at Special Event Marking 71 Years Since Kristallnacht

5 November 2009

(November 5, 2009 - Jerusalem) On Monday, November 9, 2009, marking 71 years since the Kristallnacht pogrom, Yad Vashem will hold a special Ma'ariv evening service at 5:15 p.m. in the Yad Vashem Synagogue, followed at 5:30 pm by an address by Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council. The event will be in Hebrew. The Yad Vashem Synagogue contains Judaica from destroyed synagogues of Europe. [The event is open to the public, but space is limited. RSVP: 02-6443769]

On November 9, 1938, the Nazis unleashed a series of riots against the Jews in Germany and Austria. In the space of a few hours, thousands of synagogues and Jewish businesses and homes were damaged or destroyed. For the first time, tens of thousands of Jews were sent to concentration camps simply because they were Jewish. The event came to be called Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass) for the shattered windowpanes that covered German streets.

Also marking Kristallnacht, a unique online exhibition, It Came From Within, offers information about this pivotal event and includes video testimonies of survivors, archival photographs and Pages of Testimony, all offering first-hand information and insights into the destruction and suffering inflicted on the Jews of Germany and Austria 71 years ago.

This evening, Thursday, November 5, a special screening of the film Human Failure, Winner of the 2009 Avner Shalev Yad Vashem Chairmans Award at the Jerusalem International Film Festival, will take place at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. The Award is given annually through the generosity of Michaela and Leon Constantiner. The screening will take place in the presence of director Michael Verhoeven, who is arriving specially from Germany for the event, and Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, and in conjunction with the Yad Vashem Visual Center, The Goethe Institute, and the Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv Cinematheques. The three Cinematheques will all hold screenings with the director.