Exactly seventy years ago Sunday, Nazis rioted in the streets of Germany and destroyed Jewish synagogues and businesses. Some say the riots were the precursor to what we know today as the Holocaust. November 9th, 1938, a date Holocaust survivor Alfred Schnog will never forget. “It's as vivid in my mind as if it happened yesterday," he said. Alfred and his family witnessed what is called Kristalnacht; planned riots by Nazi soldiers that destroyed Jewish schools, businesses and much more. "It was the night where the major synagogues in the major cities in Germany were destroyed. It was the beginning the onset of the Holocaust," said Schnog. Alfred and his family were able to escape the worst of the Holocaust, but people like Bronia Merlin has to live with more than just painful memories. At 88 years old, she still has the mark to tell her story of survival. "They sent me to Auschwitz, the biggest crematorium," said Merlin. Bronia was ripped from her family at 18 when Germans invaded her homeland of Poland. Out of her family of seven, only two survived the Holocaust. "I never saw the whole family again, because I was in this concentration camp," she said. She still has nightmares of Nazis and millions she saw die while in the concentration camp. Some 6 million Jews died during the Holocaust, but their deaths have not been forgotten. Dozens gathered in Wilmington to honor them and hear the stories of survivors like Bronia. “Their physical presence and their ability to tell us what they went through has got to lift us up and show us what we are capable of doing," said Harley Karz-Wagman, a Temple of Israel rabbi. Local World War II veterans were also honored for their courage and efforts in ending the Holocaust. Veteran’s Day is this Tuesday.
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