Abbey marks Kristallnacht 75th Anniversary
Monday, 11th November 2013
A Service of Solemn Remembrance and Hope to mark the 75th Anniversary of Kristallnacht was held at Westminster Abbey on Sunday 10th November 2013.
The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall who said in his Bidding:
Seventy-five years after the terrible pogrom against the Jews by the Nazi regime on the night of 9th–10th November 1938, a night we know as Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, we gather for a solemn act of remembrance. We shall hear of the experience of those days, and we shall mourn again not only the victims of that night, but all the victims of Nazi persecution.
Here in this holy and royal place, known as the House of God and House of Kings, at the centre of our national life, where over more than a thousand years countless occasions have been known of celebration and mourning, we shall pray, each in our own tradition, Jews and Christians together, sharing a common experience of worship of the one God, our prayer together itself a sign of hope.
We shall pray for communities divided by war and hatred, for people under the threat of persecution, for a growth in mutual understanding and respect throughout the world between the children of Abraham and between those of faith and of no faith, and, wherever there is despair for hope, above all for trust in the God who makes and loves his people.
During the service the Shoah candelabra from Belsize Square Synagogue was processed through the Abbey Church.
Ruth Rosen read A Reflection, John Izbicki read a Testimony, Rabbi Helen Freeman, Principal Rabbi, West London Synagogue, read Lamentations 1: 1-4, 7; Lilian Levy read a Testimony, Victor Greenberg read a Testimony, and the Reverend Dr Robert Reiss, Canon Emeritus of Westminster, read St Matthew 5: 1-10.
Stephen Douse, tenor, and the choirs of the Belsize Square and West London synagogue sang Shomeir Israel during which six memorial candles were lit by Ann Kirk, survivor of Kristallnacht; Rabbi Stuart Altshuler, Rabbi, Belsize Square Synagogue; the Reverend David Stanton, Canon in Residence, Westminster Abbey; Dr Norman Walter, Minister, Germany Embassy, London; His Excellency Daniel Taub, Israeli Ambassador to the Court of St James’; and Joshua Kirk, grandson of Ann Kirk.