Holocaust survivor Eve Kugler was only 7 years old when the Germans broke into her home on Kristallnacht.
That night, between Nov. 9-10, 1938, Nazi vandals burned hundreds of synagogues across Germany and damaged or destroyed thousands of Jewish-owned businesses. The attackers murdered around 100 Jews and rounded up about 30,000 more to send to concentration camps.
In the 84 years that have passed, Eve has told her personal story numerous times. Yet, this week, her testimony made history as she shared it for the first time with an audience of Jewish and Muslim children in the United Arab Emirates – Israel’s first Abraham Accords partner.
“You are here, older than the age I was during the Holocaust,” Kugler told the schoolchildren in Dubai. “The Nazi soldiers came into our house, and I watched with my sister as they ransacked our home, and dragged my father and grandfather away in the middle of the night. That night, the synagogue my grandfather helped build was burnt to the ground, while the fire brigade stood and watched.”
“Each story of the victims and the survivors of the Holocaust is different, but the point is always the same: We cannot allow the flames of hatred to consume our world. We cannot allow the lives of innocent people to be torn to pieces – shattered like glass on Kristallnacht,” she said.
Kugler was the keynote speaker at another Dubai event marking the Kristallnacht anniversary.
The UAE Crossroads of Civilizations Museum, which hosted the commemoration, was founded by H.E. Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori, who also founded the first Holocaust Memorial Gallery in the Arab and Muslim world.
“As a Muslim, I cannot stand by and allow the memory of the victims, and the voices of the survivors, to fade into history,” Al Mansoori said.
Al Mansoori, together with “March of the Living” ambassador in the Gulf Eitan Neishlos, lit the second torch in this May’s March of the Living ceremony. Neishlos is the grandson of Holocaust survivor Tamara Ziserman and the founder of an organization that advocates for Israel, combats anti-Semitism and provides Holocaust education.
“The Holocaust stands as a unique crime against humanity, and an important part of the Jewish story and experience, that holds lessons for all of us about the importance of tolerance – which is a pillar of life here in the UAE,” Neishlos said at the Crossroads Museum event.
“We have made history today, in bringing the voices of Holocaust survivors to the United Arab Emirates, he said.
Al Mansoori and Neishlos spoke with ALL ISRAEL NEWS about Holocaust remembrance in the Arab world, including From Soul to Sole, a global initiative they launched together that aims to preserve the shoes of children murdered in the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.