"Kristallnacht anniversary marked by family’s personal loss as well"

Kristallnacht anniversary marked by family’s personal loss as well

On Nov. 11, 1957, Moritz Kahn got up slowly and in a quiet but firm voice began the service - a reverent memorial to the Jews who were killed and the synagogues that were burned in the great Nazi purge of 1938. It was of special meaning to him for he and his family had fled Germany in 1937 and he knew what had happened to those who remained.

It was also of special meaning to those around him in the New Hope Congregation, having founded the congregation a year after the purge and having been together since. Each year, on the closest Sunday to Kristallnacht, they came together for these memorial series, finding renewed hope.

On Nov. 11, 1957, the presiding Cantor, Moritz Kahn, was offering the most sacred of prayers. His voice was strong and steady as he reach the most sacred words, “Shema Yisrael, Hashem Elokehnu, Hashem Echad, Hear O Israel, the L-rd our G-d, the L-rd is One.”

His voice then began to falter. He swayed slightly, quietly slumping to the floor. He died with the words of the Shema on his lips, 20 years after he had come to this country.

Moritz Kahn was 70 years old at the time of his death and was survived by his widow Else, his son and daughter-in-law, Ernst and Ruth, his brother Ludwig and his grandchildren, Jeffrey and Emmy.

Every year, Kristallnacht has a special significance to the surviving family of Moritz Kahn.

Along with the Jewish community at large, the commemorate the atrocities of Kristallnacht while at the same time remembering their personal loss.

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