The Last Bar Mitzvah before Kristallnacht


Get to know the story of Fred Bachner, a Holocaust survivor who had the last Bar Mitzvah at Berlin's Rykestrasse Synagogue before the events of Kristallnacht. In this blog post from the National Library of Israel, his daughter Ellen tells her father's story and reflects on what it meant to him. The story of Fred's childhood before and during the war sheds new light on well-known historical events. 

Later in his life, Fred returned with his daughter to visit Auschwitz, where he had been a prisoner. She tells that story here. Fred also gave video testimony to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum which can be found here.  Educators can use one or both stories to spark conversations with learners about individual lives during the Holocaust. 

This resource is particularly appropriate for learners around B*Mitzvah ages (middle-school). 



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