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German Kristallnacht Synagogue Opens On Pogrom Anniversary (PHOTOS)

Kristallnacht Anniversary Germany Remembers

11/ 9/11 12:54 PM ET   AP

BERLIN -- Germany's president has inaugurated a new synagogue on the anniversary of the 1938 Nazi anti-Jewish pogrom that was known as "Kristallnacht," or the "Night of Broken Glass."

President Christian Wulff said the new synagogue in Speyer carried the promise of a "new and permanent presence of Jewish life" in the southwestern city, whose old synagogue was burned down in the pogrom.

At least 91 German Jews were killed across the country in state-sanctioned riots. More than 200 synagogues were destroyed and thousands of Jewish businesses vandalized. Nov. 9 is also the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Germany's Jewish community has grown since then, helped by immigration from the former Soviet Union.

Wulff says Wednesday is "a day of confidence and hope" as well as remembrance.

Kristallnacht Synagogue
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The new synagoge is pictured on Nov. 9 in Speyer, Germany. Jews first settled in Speyer in the 11th century and by the Middle Ages Speyer was among the most important centers of Jewish life in central Europe. The Nazis burned its synagogue in the infamous Kristallnacht pogroms of 1938 and by 1945 only one Jew remained in Speyer. The Jewish community began to revitalize in 1996 with the influx of Jews from the former Soviet Union.

Filed by Josh Fleet  |