83 years since Kristallnacht: “Jews are still insecure”

Kugler: “I felt that the attack on the synagogue was a personal attack on me. I couldn’t believe that the Jews were being attacked again in the synagogues. ”

Eve Kugler was only 7 years old when the Gestapo broke into her home. Although the soldiers put her and her sister, Ruth, into a room and closed the door behind them, she will never forget what happened on the terrible night of November 9, 1938. “The soldiers took away my grandfather, the Rabbi Marcus Kugler, while he was studying Gemara, ”Eve said. “They took my father too, and when they left, we ran to the window and saw that the synagogue that my father had helped build was on fire.”

1,400 synagogues were burned across Germany and Austria in an organized Nazi pogrom, on the night known as “Kristallnacht.” Eve, who lived on the third floor of the building in which her parents had a large store, says that her mother went in search of her father, who was sent to Buchenwald, having no answer, went down to clean the glass. That shattered at night: “Mom ran to the police station across the street to look for Dad. The policeman told him there was no place for Jews in Germany, ”Eve said as she stood next to the building that used to be the police station.

Eve next to the building that served as a police station during the Holocaust (credit: SAM CHURCHILL)

A few weeks later, Eve and her family were able to free her father from Buchenwald thanks to a visa they received to leave Germany. The family managed to escape to France, and Eve and her older sister, Ruth, were sent to the United States, where the two stayed with foster families until they were reunited with their parents after the war: “My parents wanted to get us out of Europe. “. Eva said. “They understood that they had to separate from us to save us and they sent us to the United States.”

        (credit: courtesy) (credit: courtesy)

Eve, who lives in London, accompanies annual “March of the Living” delegations from the UK to German death camps in Poland and recently returned with the organization’s first delegation to Germany during COVID. As part of the delegation, Eve returned to her childhood home in Halle and also visited the synagogue in the city, which was built after the Holocaust, and was attacked by an anti-Semite 2/3 years ago on Yom Kippur. Two Jews were killed in this attack and a more serious assault was prevented thanks to the strong door at the entrance of the building.

    Eve standing in the doorway of the Halle synagogue, pierced by the bullets fired by the anti-Semitic terrorist (credit: SAM CHURCHILL) Eve standing in the doorway of the Halle synagogue, pierced by the bullets fired by the anti-Semitic terrorist (credit: SAM CHURCHILL)

“When I heard about the attack on the Halle synagogue, I remembered everything. I felt like it was a personal attack on me, ”says Eve. “The world has not learned its lesson and the Jews are still not sure.”

While in the synagogue, for the first time, Eva came across the names of her grandfather and his relatives who had perished in the Holocaust: “To this day, I thought that my grandfather and relatives who died in the Holocaust were not commemorated. nowhere. It moves me to tears to see their names here on the wall. They have been perpetuated and their memory will never be forgotten, ”Eve said through tears.

Eve participates in the global initiative of the March of Life on the occasion of “Kristallnacht” – “Let there be light” in which houses of prayer, public institutions and private homes are illuminated with lights of hope on November 9, symbolically fighting anti-Semitism and racism. The message that Eva, and many Holocaust survivors, wish to convey will be projected on the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. Eve calls on others to join the initiative “both in memory of the victims killed in Kristallnacht and to ensure that what happened never happens again.


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