Germany marks anniversary of anti-Semitic pogrom

AP News
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Posted: Nov 09, 2009 6:03 AM

As Germany celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Monday, more subdued tributes were held to mark the 71st anniversary of the Nazi's Kristallnacht anti-Semitic pogrom.

On Kristallnacht _ the Night of Broken Glass _ at least 91 German Jews were killed, more than 200 synagogues were destroyed, and thousands of Jewish businesses vandalized and looted in state sanctioned, riots.

In the capital, a special service was being held Monday at a memorial outside the Jewish Community of Berlin's building. The event was also to pay tribute to Anne Frank, whose poignant diary has inspired countless people and who would have turned 80 this year had she not died in the Holocaust.

Separately, a candlelight service was being held in the evening at Berlin's Grunewald train station, from which many of the city's Jews were deported.

The anniversary was also noted at services celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall.

"The memory of the horrible events of the 9th of November, 1938, no less than the memory of the 9th of November, 1989 teach us unequivocally that walls _ whether real or in the minds and hearts of the people _ solve no problems," said Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, head of the Catholic German Bishops Conference, at an ecumenical service in Berlin.

On Kristallnacht _ so called because of the countless windows broken that night _ police and fire brigades stood aside as rioters attacked synagogues, Jewish-owned stores, community centers and other targets including hospitals and schools.

The pogroms marked an intensification of the Nazi's anti-Jewish policies that would eventually lead to the murder of some 6 million Jews.