Category: Kristallnacht

The German 9/11 – the ‘Day of Fate’

On a crisp autumn evening in 2014, I stood overlooking the path the Berlin Wall once traced as it wound around the British, French and US occupation zones of West Berlin like a concrete lariat. Breaking with precedent established at previous muted celebrations, the German government had decided to organise a unique spectacle to mark the 25th anniverary of the sudden & unexpected redundancy of the world's most famous wall. [caption id="attachment_4283" align="alignleft" width="300"] Berlin Wall Lichtgrenze, 2014[/caption] On 9th November 2014, thousands of illuminated balloons on slender stands, stood equal height as the former internal barrier of the German Democratic Republic, lined a 15km route through Berlin, passing the site of the main ceremony at the Brandenburg Gate. Following perfomances by Peter Gabriel and Udo Lindenberg, and to the strained tones of a rendition of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, the balloons were released one-by-one to soar into the night-sky. Like…

On this day: Berlin’s monumental Neue Synagoge opens

On this day: Berlin's monumental Neue Synagoge opens with a ceremony marking the Jewish New Year (September 5th 1866) Consecrated in the presence of Prussian minister president and future German chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, the Neue Synagoge once served Berlin's thriving Jewish community as one of the largest synagogues in the world. A pioneering example of iron construction, highly unusual for the time, the synagogue is still recognisable by its distinctive Moorish style, colourful brick facade, and the three bulbous gilded domes that crown the structure. Impressionist painter and president of the Prussian Academy of Arts Max Liebermann was once a member of the congregation. Albert Einstein performed two violin concertos metformin online inside the building for charity in 1930. The world's first female rabbi Regina Jonas lectured at the synagogue before being deported to Auschwitz and murdered. Ransacked by SA troops in November 1938 during the November Pogrom (Kristallnacht),…