My Vienna-born mother still remembers the palpably frightening atmosphere she sensed as a little girl in the immediate aftermath of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass.
Exactly 77 years ago German and Austrian storm troopers, and members of the general public, went on the rampage across their respective countries, smashing and looting synagogues and Jewish homes, businesses and schools. Close to 100 Jews were killed on the night between November 9-10 and around 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps.
Gita Weinrauch Kaufmann was also around, in the Austrian capital, for that horrific event, although thankfully she managed to escape to the United States together with her parents and siblings. That was a rare occurrence, especially as they didn’t get out until 1940, when World War II was raging and Jews in all Nazi-occupied countries were being systematically persecuted and murdered.