By: Lydia Rogers
Friday, November 8th, the Xavier community observed Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) for its 75th anniversary. The Center for Interfaith and Community Engagement organized the event in front of Gallagher Student Center, where it displayed a large window with “Jude” painted on it in yellow. The window was set on a pile of broken glass as Xavier Students read the names of children who were murdered in the Holocaust. Passersby were asked to wear a lapel pin with a glass shard glued to it.
The university event was meant to remembere the night of Nov. 9, 1938, when Nazis orchestrated the destruction of Jewish property, the burning of synagogues and the mass deportation of thousands of Polish-Jews living in Germany. The numerous windows that were shattered and the vast amount of glass that littered the streets characterized that night.
The Xavier community read the victims’ names to bring attention to the Night of Broken Glass, students and faculty so they would learn to recognize the sound of broken glass in today’s society and become aware of tragedies that still take place.
“If we had heard the shattering of glass in 1938, might the events of 1939-45 have been different?” the son of Holocaust survivors and Executive Director of the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement Rabbi Abie Ingber asked. “We are witnessing the ‘breaking of glass’ today in the tragic suicides of young gay students bullied to death, sexual violence against women and the issue of slavery in our modern world.”
“Our leadership cabinet worked hard all day handing out fliers and buttons and sharing the Kristallnacht story with its classmates,” Program Assistant of the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement Stephanie Renny said. “We interacted with over 1,000 students.”