Holocaust survivor who witnessed Kristallnacht shares her testimony with Dubai schoolchildren

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Holocaust survivor who witnessed Kristallnacht shares her testimony with Dubai schoolchildren

UK-based Eve Kugler, who was just seven when Nazis broke into her home, spoke to Muslim and Jewish students as part of a visit to the UAE organised by March of the Living.

A UK-based Holocaust survivor has made history by telling her testimony to schoolchildren at a Dubai school on the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom she witnessed. 

Eve Kugler, who was just seven years old when Nazis broke into her home on the night that hundreds of synagogues were torched, spoke to Muslim and Jewish students this week as part of a visit to the UAE organised by March of the Living.

The 91-year-old also spoke about her experiences at the UAE Crossroads of Civilizations Museum, founded by Ahmed Obaid AlMansoori, who also hosted the region’s first ever Holocaust exhibition on International Memorial Day in 2021.

Nazis remove Jewish prayer books from a shul for burning during Kristallnacht in 1938. Credit: Yad Vashem

Saying she was “honoured” to be speaking the Emirates about the lessons for today , Kugler told the youngsters: “You are here, older than the age I was during the Holocaust. The Nazi soldiers came into our house, and I watched with my sister as they ransacked our home, and dragged my father and grandfather away in the middle of the night. That night the synagogue my grandfather helped build was burnt to the ground, while the fire brigade stood and watched.”

She added: “Each story of the victims and the survivors of the Holocaust is different, but the point is always the same. We cannot allow the flames of hatred to consume our world. We cannot allow the lives of innocent people to be torn to pieces – shattered like glass on Kristallnacht. We must learn the lessons of the past and build a shared future of mutual respect and understanding.”

In the Photo from left to right: Ahmed Obaid AlMansoori, Eitan Neishlos, Israeli Ambassador Amir Hayek, Eve Kugler, UK Consul General to Dubai Allison Hall and US Consul General to Dubai Meghan Gregonis.
Credit: 2xceed

The later event at the Museum was the first by the new March of the Living Chapter in the Gulf, headed by MOTL Ambassador in the Gulf, Eitan Neishlos.

He said: “The Holocaust stands as a unique crime against humanity, and an important part of the Jewish story and experience, that holds lessons for all of us about the importance of tolerance – which is a pillar of life here in the UAE.”

He added: “When I took on responsibility to help carry the torch of remembrance for the third generation, I knew that we must also reach out to our brothers and sisters in the Arab and Muslim world. For nearly all those here today, this was the first chance to hear the testimony of Holocaust survivors. Eve’s story is an inspiration to all, and I am grateful to March of the Living for bringing her to Dubai today.”

When I took on responsibility to carry the torch of remembrance for the third generation, I knew we must also reach out to our brothers and sisters in the Arab and Muslim world.

Ahmed Obaid AlMansoori described the Shoah as “the worst crime against the Jewish people. As a Muslim, I cannot stand by and allow the memory of the victims, and the voices of the survivors, to fade into history”. He hailed Kugler as “an essential voice of hope”.

Others speakers at the museum event included Jordana Cutler, Director of Public Policy for Israel & the Jewish Diaspora at Meta.

To commemorate the 84th anniversary of Kristallnacht, International March of the Living organised its third ‘Let There Be Light’ campaign encouraging those of all faiths to remember the past and learn the lessons for today.

In Vienna, a “March of Light” from the Heldenplatz to the Judenplatz took place, while messages of hope from around the world were projected onto the ancient walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.

A ceremony saw survivors, veteran journalist Walter Bingham, and David Cycowicz, recognised.



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