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Montreal’s Jewish community gathers on 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht

Members of Montreal's Jewish community gathered to commemorate the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht, Thursday, November 11, 2017. Matt Grillo / Global News

Members of the Jewish community gathered at the Montreal Holocaust Museum on Thursday to commemorate the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht, also referred to as the Night of Broken Glass.

During the night of Nov. 9, 1938, Jewish synagogues, homes and businesses were looted, vandalized or destroyed throughout Nazi-occupied Germany, including Austria, East Prussia and the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia.

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Dozens of Jews were killed in the violence that night and thousands were rounded up and sent to concentration camps.

“What happened 79 years ago, I remember very well,” Leo Dortort, a Holocaust survivor, said. “What I did two weeks ago I don’t remember.”

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The museum holds a commemoration ceremony every year.

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Thursday’s event included singing, speeches and the lighting of a candle.

“If we forget, then we run the danger of not learning the lessons of remembrance,” Irwin Cotler, former justice minister, said. “Those lessons are the dangers of silence in the face of evil.”

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