Archive for Friday, November 5, 1999


November 5, 1999


Kansas University's Hillel House will sponsor two events to remember the "Kristallnacht" of 1938.

Kansas University's Hillel House will mark the 61st anniversary of "Kristallnacht" -- a wave of state-sponsored terror targeting Jews on Nov. 9-10, 1938, in Nazi Germany -- with a special screening of an Academy Award-winning film and a talk by a Holocaust survivor who now lives in Kansas City.

KU Hillel -- the university's central group for Jewish students -- will join 70 other campus Hillel Houses across the country in showing the documentary "The Last Days." Director Steven Spielberg was executive director of the film, which won best documentary at the 1999 Academy Awards.

It presents the stories of five Hungarian-born Jews who survived Adolf Hitler's last major genocidal push to destroy European Jewry near the end of World War II.

"The Last Days" was created in association with Spielberg's Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, which gathers and preserves the stories of Holocaust survivors around the world.

Kristallnacht -- or The Night of Broken Glass -- refers to the mob violence that broke out in November 1938 across Germany, in which crowds burned hundreds of synagogues and destroyed thousands of Jewish-owned businesses.

Twenty-five thousand Jewish men were rounded up and later sent to concentration camps.

"The main reason we try to commemorate events related to the Holocaust is that we don't want it to occur again. People need to be educated about anti-semitism, what happened during the Holocaust and why it happened," said Mayaan Pase, KU Hillel's programming director.

"Not just Jews were persecuted during the Holocaust. Gays, lesbians, gypsies and political opponents were killed, too. That's why we need to educate our whole society. We don't want this to happen to anybody again," she said.

"The Last Days" will be shown at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Jayhawk Room of the Kansas Union. The film is 90 minutes long.

Two Lawrence educators -- Janice Fullerton and Phyllis Farrar -- will lead a discussion afterward. The women are members of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education's teaching cadre. The center is based in Overland Park.

Dr. Judy Jacobs of Kansas City, an Hungarian-born Jew, will talk about her experiences during the Holocaust at 7 p.m. Nov. 17 in the Pioneer Room of the Kansas Union.

Jacobs was 7 when the Nazis invaded Hungary in March 1944. Her family was deported by train to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp three months later.

After being freed in December 1944, they spent the remaining years of the war in Switzerland.

The Nazis deported and murdered 425,000 Hungarian Jews in 60 days -- or about 7,000 each day -- during their liquidation of that nation's Jewish community.

Both the screening of "The Last Days" and Jacobs' presentation are free and open to the public.

Call KU Hillel, 749-5397, for more information.

-- Jim Baker's phone message number is 832-7173; his e-mail address is

Commenting has been disabled for this item.