Jakob’s Torah: A Kristallnacht Commemoration
November 9 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
This year’s Kristallnacht commemoration centers around a special piece in the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh’s collection, known as Jakob’s Torah.
This Torah, which was rescued from the flames of Kristallnacht in Germany, travelled the world: accompanying its rescuer, Jakob Weinblum, as he and his family spent 8 years as refugees in Shanghai; then spending 30 years in New York City in home storage, considered too damaged to be used as a ritual scroll; and then, finally, finding a permanent home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where its extraordinary story could be shared with the world.
Our 2021 Kristallnacht commemoration consists of a virtual exhibit exploring the history of Jakob’s Torah, exclusive access to a PBS documentary telling the story of Jewish refugees in Shanghai, and a special interview.
Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh’s annual Kristallnacht program is generously supported by Edgar Snyder.
About Kristallnacht: On November 9–10, 1938, Nazi leaders unleashed a series of pogroms against the Jewish population in Germany and recently incorporated territories. This event came to be called Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) because of the shattered glass that littered the streets after the state-sanctioned vandalism and destruction of Jewish-owned businesses, synagogues, and homes. Kristallnacht marks the first instance in which the Nazi regime incarcerated Jews on a massive scale on the basis of their ethnicity, and is considered an essential turning point in the Nazi persecution of Jews.