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October 30, 2015


This year’s KRISTALLNACHT PROGRAM will take place on Monday, November 9, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in the Berney Theatre of the Asper Jewish Community Campus at 123 Doncaster St. It will honour the Filipino community for providing a place of refuge for European Jews on the heels of the Nazi violence. Entitled “The Philippine-Jewish Connection”, we will feature “Rescue in the Philippines”, a one-hour documentary that discusses how President Manuel Quezon, the first president of the Philippines; Paul McNutt, US High Commissioner and former governor of Indiana; Army Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Frieder brothers, Jewish cigar makers in Manila, helped 1,200 Jews escape the Nazis and immigrate to the Philippines.


Kristallnacht: In October 1938, more than 12,000 Polish-born Jews were expelled from Germany. However, they were not allowed entry into Poland leaving them in dire straits on the border. A distraught young Jewish man living in Paris at the time received a letter from his parents who were suffering on the Polish border. As a form of protest, he went to the German embassy in Paris and shot a German diplomat. On the night of November 9-10, 1938, a wave of violent attacks on the Jewish communities of Germany and Austria was orchestrated by Nazi officials as payback.



Hundreds of synagogues were burned, thousands of Jewish-owned places of business were destroyed, almost one hundred Jews were killed, and thirty thousand Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps. The shards of broken glass seen in front of Jewish-owned stores all over Germany and Austria the next morning gave this event its name: “Kristallnacht” or “The Night of Broken Glass”.


Most of us are aware of the Nazi violence against the Jews during World War II. But many of us are not aware of the bravery and heroism of the few who saved many Jewish lives. This program was developed in order to not only highlight an important chapter of history but serve to strengthen the bridge between the Philippine and Jewish communities.


There is no admission charge, however seating is limited. The co-chairs of this event are Larry Vickar and Rod Cantiveros. It is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, the Manitoba Council of Canadian-Filipino Associations, Inc. (MaCCFA), the Original Filipino Seniors Association of Manitoba (OFSAM), and the Rosalinda Natividad Cantiveros Foundation. 

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.