Germans across the country today (November 9, 2013) are commemorating the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht -- the night of broken glass -- during which the Nazis staged a wave of attacks on Jews in Germany and Austria, the Big News Network website reports.
On November 9, 1938, hundreds of synagogues were burned, numerous homes and Jewish-owned stores were ransacked, some 1,000 Jews were killed, and more than 30,000 Jews were sent to concentration camps.
The attacks marked the beginning of the state-organized, violent persecution of Jews which ended in the murder of six million European Jews by the end of the Third Reich in 1945.
Germans in many cities and towns held candle-light vigils, listened to Jewish survivors share memories, and met at Jewish cemeteries to remember the victims of Kristallnacht during today's commemorations.
Despite the many positive activities today, some speakers sounded a note of caution, reminding their listeners that anti-Semitism is still a problem -- and is getting worse -- in Europe. A poll of European Jews released yesterday (November 8) found that more than three-quarters of those questioned believe anti-Semitism is surging in their home countries, and about one-third have considered emigrating because they don't feel safe.