A Return To Germany — 76 Years Later



Alfred Zydower and his friend Frank Harris visit Zydower's hometown in Germany.
Alfred Zydower and his friend Frank Harris visit Zydower’s hometown in Germany.

After a 76-year absence, Kristallnacht survivor Alfred Zydower, 87, on Nov. 15, toured Germany for two weeks in May, accompanied by his longtime friend, Frank Harris, 61.

They found the Jewish cemetery desecrated in Zydower’s hometown of Furstenwalde, 20 miles outside of Berlin. The men are shown here outside the gates of Berlin’s former Jewish cemetery, now maintained as a park.

Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” occurred Nov. 9-10, 1938, when the Nazis ordered violent anti-Jewish pogroms in Germany.

Zydower of Madison Heights, a special friend of State Rep. Robert Wittenberg (District 27), spent the war years with his parents and sister in Shanghai, China.

During the trip, they visited Berlin, Furstenwalde, Dresden, Freiburg, Munich and finally Vienna in Austria.

Zydower put his German language skills to good use. Touched by the kindness and sympathy he encountered, Zydower said, “People were very nice wherever I went.” 

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