75 Years After Kristallnacht: Fighting Anti-Semitism, Holocaust Denial and Preserving the Memory of the Holocaust

A few weeks ago, Rabbi Hier led a 60-strong delegation including Holocaust survivors to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican and on that occassion raised the issue of continuing threats from terrorists and rogue nations, like Iran. He also shared, “Seventy-five years after the infamous Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) pogrom, a poll commissioned by the respected Ebert Foundation estimates that 150 million Europeans still harbor anti-Jewish sentiment.

Today, Europe’s Jews are facing a growing wave of anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish hatred unseen since World War II.

This weekend, as the world commemorates the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the pivotal event which marked the beginning of the destruction of European Jewry, the work of the Simon Wiesenthal Center has never been more urgent.

Every day the SWC is on the frontlines combating anti-Semitism:

In what The New York Times called, “A major victory for the Wiesenthal Center”, the SWC successfully shut down a 50-year-old German magazine, Der Landser dedicated to whitewashing the stories of World War II.

• SWC officials demanded action from Hungarian political leaders, in a meeting in Budapest, over rising anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism.

• Travel advisories were issued for countries such as Denmark and Sweden because of ongoing threats to Jews.

Teaching the Legacy of the Holocaust:

• Since 1988, the Center’s landmark traveling exhibition on the Holocaust, Courage to Remember, has travelled to six continents around the world. This year alone, it has been shown in Cuba, Kenya, India, Thailand, the Philippines and across the US in high schools, colleges, police departments, libraries, art galleries, county fairs, the US Army and Navy Academy to name a few.

Fighting Holocaust Denial:
• On International Holocaust Memorial Day, Genocide, our Academy Award®-winning documentary, narrated by Elizabeth Taylor and Orson Welles, was beamed, in Farsi, into Iran, across Europe and the Middle East via satellite and the Internet, in response to the Iranian regime’s state policy of denying the Shoah.

Introducing new generations to Anne Frank’s Story:
• “… The most extensive exploration of Anne Frank in any museum outside Amsterdam,” The New York Times wrote about the new exhibit on the life of Anne Frank, Anne, narrated by Academy Award®-nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld, which tells the story of Anne Frank to visitors of the Museum of Tolerance in a highly interactive, immersive environment.

Preserving the Memory of the Holocaust:
• The SWC has fought against Lithuanian campaigns to promote historical equivalency between communist and Nazi crimes and against those who have glorified World War II Nationalists who actively participated in the persecution of Lithuanian Jewry during the Holocaust.

Pushing to bring Nazi War Criminals to Justice:
• Operation Last Chance II, launched in Germany, is a massive European campaign to find remaining unprosecuted Nazi war criminals through posters and rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Nazi war criminals.

Witness to the Truth:

In 2013, over 50,000 visitors to the Museum of Tolerance have heard Holocaust survivors tell their first-person accounts each day.

As we approach the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, your support will keep us on the frontlines and you will play a direct and active role in supporting all of our vital efforts today - thank you for your continued support.