old photograph of Kristallnacht aftermath.

11/7 An Interfaith Service of Remembrance for Kristallnacht

For the 12th year, Chapman University gathers as an interfaith community on Thursday, Nov. 7, from 7–9 p.m. to commemorate Kristallnacht. Author Glenn Kurtz, Ph.D., will offer a lecture on Kristallnacht joined by guest of honor Engelina Billauer, Holocaust witness and survivor of Kristallnacht. 

We remember the violence that swept across Germany 81 years ago on November 9-10, 1938, the arrests and deportations that followed, and the precedent that this action set for what would follow throughout Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe.  We also remember the courageous few from many walks of life and beliefs who dared to defy Nazi authority to become rescuers and resisters.

At this year’s event, author Glenn Kurtz, Ph.D., will speak about “Facets and Shards: Synagogue Windows as Memory and Memorial.” In the context of Kristallnacht and considering the central significance that the destruction of the temple holds in Jewish history, he will describe the recent recovery of windows from the great synagogue of Nasielsk, Poland, and their integration into a memorial as symbols of loss and remembrance.

Glenn Kurtz is the author of Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film, which was named a “Best Book of 2014” by The New YorkerThe Boston Globe, and National Public Radio. A frequent public speaker, he has presented keynote addresses at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Jewish Historical Museum (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), the Wiener Library (London, U.K.) and the POLIN Museum of the History of the Polish Jews (Warsaw, Poland), and at smaller venues from Anchorage, Alaska, to Boca Raton, Florida, and Los Angeles, California, to East Machias, Maine.

A 2016 Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, Glenn Kurtz joins Chapman University this year as a Presidential Fellow.  He is a graduate of Tufts University and the New England Conservatory of Music and holds a doctorate in German studies and comparative literature from Stanford University. In addition to Three Minutes in Poland, he is the author of Practicing: A Musician’s Return to Music, which also received enthusiastic reviews from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other publications. Dr. Kurtz lives in New York City and is at work on a novel and a book of nonfiction, both about the Empire State Building.

Event contributors include: 

The John and Toby Martz Distinguished Lecture in Holocaust Studies
The Sally and Jerry Schwartz Endowment for Holocaust Education

The event is co-sponsored by the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education, the Fish Interfaith Center and the Chapman Interfaith Council.

Copies of Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film will be available for purchase. Book signing will follow the event.