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Duquesne Commemorates ‘The Night of Broken Glass’

During the Holocaust, a horrific event known today as Kristallnacht, “the night of broken glass,” took place on Nov. 9, 1938. Thousands of Jews were beaten and more than 90 were murdered. Jewish homes and businesses were confiscated, and 30,000 Jewish men were sent to concentration camps.

To commemorate this gruesome episode, Duquesne University is hosting Who Are These Germans? Remembering Kristallnacht, a free event being held on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. in the PNC Recital Hall. The event will feature a narration by eyewitness Fritz Ottenheimer.

“Fritz’s first-person recollections of the nazification and de-nazification of Germany will explore the stubborn and lingering question: how was this possible?” said Dr. Dan Burston, professor and chair of psychology, who is coordinating the event.

Ottenheimer, a resident of Forest Hills, will present a narration, accompanied by klezmer music played by Suzanne Ortner and Tom Roberts. After the narration, Dr. Edith Krause, chair of modern languages and literatures at Duquesne, will give a poetry reading, then audience members will participate in a question-and-answer session with Ottenheimer. A reception will immediately follow.

A retired mechanical engineer from Westinghouse Electric Corp., Ottenheimer is a lifetime trustee on the board of Temple Sinai. He speaks widely in Germany and the United States on the Holocaust. A German translation of his memoirs, Escape and Return: Memories of Nazi Germany, was published in 1996.

“For most of Europe’s Jews, this period of time in November 1938 marked the beginning of the end, and the first, unmistakable intimation of the savagery to come,” added Burston, co-chair of the Jewish Faculty Forum, which is co-sponsoring the event with the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, and Spiritan Campus Ministry.

To register for Who Are These Germans? Remembering Kristallnacht call 412.396.6388 or visit www.duq.edu/kristallnacht. Seating is limited.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.