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2012 Media Releases

University of Denver Memorial to Commemorate, Remember Kristallnacht

November 9, 2012

As the world pauses to reflect on the human tragedy of Kristallnacht – Nov. 9-10, 1938 – the University of Denver is announcing the installation of memorial screens commemorating what has come to be known as "The Night of Broken Glass" when mobs in coordinated attacks smashed, burned and destroyed thousands of Jewish owned businesses and Synagogues across Germany. These screens will become part of the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site, framing the site's north-perimeter on Evans Avenue.

Construction of the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site began in 2011. The design is a collaboration of DU architect Mark Rodgers and landscape architect Spencer Nickel of Five Design. It radiates outward from a central stone bench shaped like the Hebrew word for life, 'chai,' to an amphitheater of natural stone benches for a wide range of gatherings.

The Kristallnacht Screens will sit near the entry to the site and will be installed later this winter. They are metal lattice partitions that suggest the shattered windows of Kristallnacht, and spell out the Hebrew word "hineni" translated as "Here I am," an important call to ethical action found in post-Holocaust philosophy. The outdoor gathering place is deliberately designed to honor the memory of the millions in Europe murdered by the Nazis more than 65 years ago through acts of social justice in the broadest sense.

The Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site is linked to an endowed chair of Holocaust studies and will be home to performances, lectures, readings and vigils that advance humanitarian causes, foster intercultural dialogue and incubate empathy and public good works.

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The University of Denver is committed to improving the human condition and engaging students and faculty in tackling the major issues of our day. The University ranks among the top 100 national universities in the U.S. For additional information, go to www.du.edu/newsroom or follow the University on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact: Chase Squires
Phone: (303) 871-2660
E-mail: Chase.Squires@du.edu