Focus shifting away from Holocaust prelude

Nov. 10, 2010 at 11:20 AM
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BERLIN, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Jewish groups say they are worried Germany's focus is shifting away from remembering Kristallnacht, the prelude to the Holocaust.

Deidre Berger, director of the American Jewish Committee's Berlin office, said remembering Nov. 9, 1938, as the day Hitler's gangs attacked Jewish property has given way to celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Exactly 51 years later, the wall dividing East and West Germany came down on Nov. 9, 1989.

And the top report on the nightly news in Germany Tuesday was about the wall followed by Kristallnacht, observers said.

"I think it's the beginning in the shift in narrative, and that's a concern," Berger said. "It's a concern of what young people know about this day."

Cilly Krugman, deputy director of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, said the change in focus is apparent.

"For the first time in 20 or 30 years, the Jewish congregations commemorate Kristallnacht for themselves," she said. "A circle is closing."

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