Holocaust survivor recalls the tragedy of Kristallnacht

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This weekend will mark the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

On November 9, 1938, the Nazi party implemented coordinated attacks on Jewish people living in Germany and Austria. On the evening of November 9, the Nazi’s killed 91 Jews. The Nazi’s thousands of homes, schools, and Synagogues – but the terror didn’t end there.

The Nazi’s arrested more than 30,000 Jewish men. One of those men was actually a 14-year-old boy at the time. Holocaust survivor and Wilmette resident, Walter Reed, says he’s forgotten many things in his 89-years, but he remembers Kristallnacht like it was yesterday.


Walter Reed, 89-year-old Holocaust survivor and Wilmette resident

“I do remember very vividly that I was scared. Cause they didn’t say where they’re taking us. They didn’t say what they’re going to do. And I still remember worrying. ‘What are they going to do? Are they going to beat us? Are they going to strangle us? Are they going to starve us? And how long will I be there?’ Well three days later they released me because they were not supposed to arrest 14-year-olds,” Reed said.

Nearing the 75th anniversary of the infamous day, Kristallnacht, the Chicago Field Museum has released an exhibit on Nazi propaganda titled “State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda.” Reed told WGN that the exhibit gives an accurate depiction of how the Nazi propaganda convinced millions of German people to commit genocide.

“The conclusion in the exhibition… portrays the fact that… ‘be weary of all propaganda that you see because it has the purpose of changing opinions and influencing minds,” said Reed.

The exhibit at the Field Museum will be open through February 2, 2014.

WGN News Assistant Producer Giacomo Luca published this report

Below are photo’s currently being featured at the exhibit:

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