Today is January 21, 2020 -
Capital District Premiere of The Light of Hope | Free and Open to the Public
Eighty-one years ago, November 9-10, 1938, the Nazis staged vicious attacks or pogroms against Jews in Germany and Austria in riots that came to be known as Kristallnacht or “Night of Broken Glass.” Known as the “Night the Holocaust Began,” the date is a turning point in history and a warning for today. Hundreds of synagogues and businesses were destroyed, and 30,000 Jewish men and boys were arrested and sent to concentration camps. This is the 27th anniversary of the Kristallnacht Interfaith Confronting Bigotry Commemoration of the Capital Region, sponsored to unite the community against prejudice.
The Light of Hope is based on the true story of Elisabeth Eidenbenz (1913-2011) and her female co-workers who saved the lives of almost 600 infants in World War II. In the early 1940s, refugees from all over Europe seek shelter in South Western France escaping persecution from the Nazis, some accompanied by their little children. Eidenbenz breathes new life into an old villa, transforming it into a birth clinic. She saved the lives of mothers and children from certain death, making a safe haven resounding with the children’s laughter. But soon threats take shape. Authorities in Nazi-occupied France demand that she hand over all Jewish refugees and their children. Elisabeth and her staff must risk their lives to keep the maternity home alive. This is a remarkable story of heroism and humanity.
The program is sponsored by Holocaust Survivors & Friends Education Center, Community Relations Council of Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, and the Judaic Studies program of the University at Albany. Barclay Damon LLP is the corporate sponsor.
The Kristallnacht commemoration features Holocaust survivors and members of the community representing faith groups of the entire Capital Region.