A silent march through Groningen to commemorate Kristallnacht – the night when Nazis in Germany attacked Jewish homes and shops, marking the start of the Jewish persecution – has been canceled because of the situation in the Middle East.
“We have decided not to go ahead with the outdoors part and focus on events in the synagogue,” said Geert Volders, director of the Stichting Folkingestraat Synagoge, which organises the march.
The cancellation is a precautionary measure and the organisers have not received threats, he told local broadcaster RTV Noord. “We don’t have any indications that something will happen, but we don’t want to take any risks and have decided to cancel the march planned for November 5,” he said. “We don’t want the march to be viewed as a demonstration because it is not.”
The synagogue director also said the organisers did not think it was responsible in this time of “extreme polarisation and emotions” to ask volunteers to make sure things went smoothly.
Kristallnacht took place on the night of November 9, 1938 across Germany. Over 7,000 Jewish businesses were damaged or destroyed and 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and moved to concentration camps. Hundreds of people were killed.
The event is not the first in the Netherlands to be scrapped because of the Israel Hamas war.
A talk that should have taken place at Nazi transit camp Westerbork on Sunday has been canceled because of threats made against one of the speakers.
Activist Wahhab Hassoo, who came to the Netherlands as a refugee at the age of 17, said on social media that he and his family had been threatened and that “the safety risks for the audience” were equally important in deciding to cancel the event.
The Netherlands’ only orthodox Jewish school has also closed its doors again citing the security risks.