On 9 November, we called for a walk in the Neustadt district of Dresden. Together with about 50 neighbours, we commemorated the victims of the November pogroms of 1938.
At that time, more than 1400 synagogues, prayer rooms and other meeting places as well as thousands of shops, flats and Jewish cemeteries were destroyed. Jewish people had also been subjected to anti-Semitism before, but the pogroms marked the transition of Nazi policy from discrimination against German Jews from 1933 onwards to their systematic expulsion and extermination.
Starting at Förstereichstr. 42, we learned the story of Alfred Max Leupold. He was born in Dresden in 1884 and murdered in 1942 as part of the euthanasia crimes. Via Louisenstrasse 12, where Justin Kleiner and their children Moses, Heinrich and Marie Kleiner were remembered, we went to Alaunstrasse 11, the former home of the Blitzblau family. There it was pointed out that anti-Semitism is still a problem, as an anti-Semitic book reading was to take place that evening in the Wurzelküche (Alaunstrasse 11). This was cancelled due to public pressure. Our tour continued to Bautznerstr. 27, where Martha Schmoll was commemorated, to Bautznerstr. 20, which used to be one of the so-called Jewish houses and was returned to the Jewish community after 1945. The first Jewish prayer room was opened there after 1945 and the community was re-established after the Shoah.
At all the places we read out people’s stories and thus got to know them, paused and laid flowers and candles.
Unfortunately, anti-Semitism is not a historical phenomenon. That is why it is important that we learn from history, deal with the causes of the crimes and actively oppose anti-Semitism and all other forms of exclusion and discrimination today.
Many thanks to all who took part in the tour.