Yavneh Academy’s seventh and eighth graders were honored to hear Norbert Strauss’ eyewitness account of Kristallnacht, 85 years ago. Strauss told of the horrors of Kristallnacht including his uncle’s restaurant business being destroyed. He recalled the burning of the shuls as the beginning of Hitler’s Final Solution unfolded. Strauss was 11 years old when Kristallnacht occurred and his memory is crystal clear regarding the events of that fateful day.
Some of the more salient moments included Strauss celebrating his bar mitzvah in 1940, while his father had already emigrated to America and was unable to be present. In 1982, at the age of 55, Strauss volunteered with the IDF and stood guard to help the country during a time of war. Strauss described how in Germany antisemitism was instigated by the government while here in America the government works to protect us and combat antisemitism.
Strauss was accompanied by his wife, Dorothy, who is Rabbi Knapp’s mother. Strauss shared that his Judaism was always important to him and how his emunah kept him strong. Today, three of Strauss’ great-children are students at Yavneh Academy!
May Mr. Strauss and his family grow from strength to strength and may Yavneh Academy be zoche to have him visit again and again.