On the night of November 9th to 10th, 1938, German Jews saw their synagogues, shops and businesses attacked by the forces of the Nazi state and ordinary citizens. On that night — Kristallnacht, the Crystal Night — many Jews were savagely murdered. The entire Jewish Community was attacked and humiliated.
From the loss of civic rights in their own land to the Holocaust, Jews were victims of persecution and hatred, but also of indifference and neglect. Therefore, if there is something we can learn from the events of that tragic night is that, in the face of violence and tribalism, the only response is solidarity with those who have been persecuted and oppressed, and defending freedom and human rights, under any circumstance.
Tragedies like Kristallnacht remind us as well of the duty of political, religious or community leaders in maintaining peace and harmony in society. And of our own responsibility in building bridges with others — with those who are different to us, those who we do not yet understand. It also reminds us of how moderation begins in discourse and words.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to greet the Holocaust Museum of Oporto for organizing this initiative with the younger people, as well as for its public service in preserving the Memory and History of the Jewish Community in our city.
Mayor of Porto City Hall