German synagogue opened on pogrom anniversary

AP News
Posted: Nov 09, 2011 12:54 PM
German synagogue opened on pogrom anniversary

Germany's president has inaugurated a new synagogue on the anniversary of the 1938 Nazi anti-Jewish pogrom that was known as "Kristallnacht," or the "Night of Broken Glass."

President Christian Wulff said the new synagogue in Speyer carried the promise of a "new and permanent presence of Jewish life" in the southwestern city, whose old synagogue was burned down in the pogrom.

At least 91 German Jews were killed across the country in state-sanctioned riots. More than 200 synagogues were destroyed and thousands of Jewish businesses vandalized. Nov. 9 is also the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Germany's Jewish community has grown since then, helped by immigration from the former Soviet Union.

Wulff says Wednesday is "a day of confidence and hope" as well as remembrance.