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Holocaust victims with links to Cardiff remembered on Kristallnacht anniversary

09 Nov 2021 2 minute read
Memorial Tablet

Today the stories of more than 100 people with links to Cardiff who perished in the Holocaust are being told for the first time.

A permanent record of their lives has been created using information on a wooden Memorial Tablet mounted at Cardiff Reform Synagogue.

The tablet was commissioned in 1952 and erected in 1954, with 54 names inscribed. It was renovated in 1999, when a further 48 names were added. More details about the Tablet can be found in the digital collection on People’s Collection Wales.

All 102 individuals – related to members of the Cardiff Congregation – were murdered in the Holocaust and whose graves are unknown.

Kristallnacht or The Night of Broken Glass happened between November 9 to November 10, 1938. Nazis torched synagogues, vandalised Jewish homes, schools and businesses and killed close to 100 Jews.

In the aftermath of Kristallnacht, some 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps.

Project Manager Klavdija Erzen explained: “These are not simply names; they are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. Their lives deserve to be remembered, just as their deaths are commemorated.

“Many of the original sponsors of the Memorial Tablet have since died or moved away from Cardiff, and little was known about many of the people listed.

“In 2019, The Jewish History Association of South Wales / Cymdeithas Hanes Iddewig De Cymru decided to research all the names and ensure that a permanent record of their lives is preserved.

“We are delighted to announce that the research has now been completed and stories written. We developed a website to feature the results of our work and are launching it on November 9th, 2021 to coincide with the Kristallnacht commemoration.”

‘Amazing volunteers’ 

Stanley Soffa. BEM, JHASW/CHIDC Chair, said: “Through the work of our amazing volunteers, we have been able to tell the stories of people named on the Memorial Tablet. Not only do I commend the results of their research to all our readers but to the wider world.

“The Memorial Tablet initiative is part of our second project, ‘Framing Jewish Histories’, which also includes:

  •  Creating a Cardiff Jewish heritage trail.
  • Researching Jewish history with the Rhondda Cynon Taf Museums; and
  • Creating a toolkit to help others preserve their heritage.”

The project was led by Klavdija Erzen and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Jewish Historical Society of England, Cardiff University, and Jewish Memorial Council.

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