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Monsignor Harry J. Byrne, JCD * * * Comment/contact:larchstar@aol.com

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December 31, 2007

KRISTALLNACHT Nov. 9, 1938

Recently, an archivist at Catholic University in Washington, who had been charged with sifting through a century's accumulation of documents, photos, and recordings, discovered a recording of a radio broadcast, made from CU on November 16, 1938. The recording had seriously deteriorated. When it was returned from audio technicians, who had digitally remastered it,the recording was found to consist of speeches from five prominent Catholics, decrying the Nazi persecution of Jews in Germany that began openly on Kristallnacht, Nov. 9, 1938, the "Night of Broken Glass". It was on that autumn night that thousands of Jewish homes, shops, and synagogues were ransacked and some 30,000 Jewish men were rounded up for the death camps. Within days after the violence abated, the 27 minute broadcast went out over the air via the NBC and CBS networks.

Anger at and condemnation of this attack on the Jewish people was voiced by former New York Governor, Alfred E. Smith, Archbishop John J. Mitty of San Francisco, Bishop Peter Ireton of Richmond, Viginia, Bishop John M. Gannon of Erie, Pennsylvania, and Monsignor Joseph M. Corrigan, CEO of Catholic University. The speakers, patched in from around the country, were introduced by Father Maurice S. Sheehy of CU, who said, "The world is witnessing a great tragedy in Europe today...
Various groups and leaders of the Catholic Church have raised their voices, not in mad hysteria, but in firm indignation against the atrocities visited upon the Jews in Germany."

An audio clip and the text of the broadcast is available at http://libraries.cua.edu/achrcua/packets.html

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