German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier participated in this year’s public Menorah lighting at the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s most famous landmark and in which the Nazis once marched.
The annual event held on Chanukah brings together thousands of Jewish people and bystanders each year.
Rabbi Yehuda Teichel, Director of Chabad of Berlin, noted that the president’s participation marks the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, arguably the beginning of the destruction of European Jewry.
Kristallnacht was when Nazis in Germany torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses and killed close to 100 Jews on November 9 to November 10, 1938. Later, 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps, followed by the Holocaust.