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Transcript of roundtable interview about Kristallnacht with Esther Finder, Raymonde Fiol, Alexander Kuechel, Philipp Meinecke and Rabbi Felipe Goodman, by Barbara Tabach, March 17, 2015


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In this interview, the participants discuss their experiences during Kristallnacht, and the commemoration events in southern Nevada with Holocaust survivors and their families. Mr. Kuechel recounts his journey through concentration camps and being liberated by the Russians. Rabbi Goodman talks about meeting Mr. Meinecke, whose grandfather was a high-ranking SS officer. Meinecke discusses his upbringing in Germany and trying to learn about his family's involvement in the Holocaust, and the hope he felt after the fall of the Berlin Wall as Jews returned to Germany. The group discusses the importance of Holocaust education because there are still so many untold stories.

On November 9th to November 10th, 1938, in an incident known as Kristallnacht, Nazis in Germany torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses, and killed close to one hundred Jews. In the aftermath of Kristallnacht, also called the Night of Broken Glass, some thirty thousand Jewish men were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps. German Jews had been subjected to repressive policies since 1933 when Nazi Party leader Adolph Hitler became chancellor of Germany. However, prior to Kristallnacht these Nazi policies had been primarily nonviolent. However, after Kristallnacht conditions for German Jews grew increasingly worse. During World War II, Hitler and the Nazis implemented their so-called final solution to what they referred to as "the Jewish problem" and carried out the systematic murder of some six million European Jews in what is now commonly known as the Holocaust.

Digital ID



Members of the Kristallnacht 2014 Commemoration oral history round table, 2015 March 17. OH-02458. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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AN INTERVIEW FOR THE COMMEMORATION OF KRISTALLNACHT WITH ESTHER TOPOREK FINDER RAYMONDE FIOL ALEXANDER KUECHEL PHILIPP MEINECKE FELIPE GOODMAN An Oral History Conducted by Barbara Tabach The Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas i ?Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV - University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers: Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White Editors and Project Assistants: Maggie Lopes, Stefani Evans ii The recorded Interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narrativ