Eighty years ago on Nov. 9, Kristallnacht signaled the Nazis’ all-out assault on the Jewish people.
This year, as communities observed the anniversary of that solemn event, the attack on Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue and rising incidences of hate crimes across the western world magnified Kristallnacht’s significance and added urgency to the declaration, “Never again.”
UHC member and Kristallnacht survivor Walter Sommers serves as a docent at CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute, and the museum expanded Walter’s regular Friday afternoon appearance into a formal lecture marking Kristallnacht 80.
On Saturday, Nov. 10, Walter returned for an even larger event whose audience included CANDLES founder Eva Kor and concluded with a candle-lighting ceremony to remember victims of the Holocaust.
The audience for a staged reading of This Side of Eternity: The Story of Kristallnacht, by former Terre Haute resident Christopher Bibby and presented by Theater 7, CANDLES and UHC, filled the Temple Israel sanctuary on Sunday, Nov. 11.
Here, UHC board member and secretary Terry Fear greets attendees on the front steps of the Temple.
The Temple sanctuary serves as a fitting venue for a Kristallnacht play reading.
View from the choir loft:
During intermission, audience members enjoy the sunny limestone Temple steps, in view of flower bouquets left by community members following the Pittsburgh synagogue attack in late October.
The cast in action:
A question-and-answer period followed the reading, with remarks by UHC’s Scott Skillman, who helped bring the production to the Temple.
Playwright Christopher Bibby, director Christopher Lambert, cast and crew lingered for a reception in the Vestry Room.