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Margot Cohen
My life in Goch
Burning of the synagogue
Flight to the Netherlands
Refugee Orphange
My Foster parents
The invasion
The rescue
After the war
My request

Margot Cohen

The night when the Synagogue burned

I can still recall the last days in Germany. I was only six years old then. It all started on a Tuesday in November 1938. We had the feeling that many Germans disliked us, but at the beginning we couldn’t be sure of it. On that night everything became clear. This night has become know as “Kristallnacht” (Crystal Night) because during it the German SA and SS men, all over Germany, smashed the windows of Jewish house and shops. In the early hours of that night the Germans broke into our holy synagogue. We were petrified with fear. SS men came in from every direction shouting and laughing, particularly when they tore the satin curtains off the torah ark. My mother had spent months making these- she worked so long to make the best curtains to cover the holy ark. The SA men went further – they poured petrol over the Torah scrolls and set them alight. Seeing that my father started weeping and threw himself onto the scrolls. Turning around and seeing him the SA men then beat him with their rifle butts and dragged him outside. Then they set fire to the synagogue building. The fire-brigade was ordered to let it burn! That night my father was imprisoned. Crying our mother told us that we shouldn’t be afraid. I was unable to control my fear because this was the most frightening night of my entire life up to then, All I can remember is crying and crying and being unable to sleep. None of us could stop crying. My father returned home eighteen hours later. The “Kristallnacht” is a terrible memory that I will never be able to forget .

* Nowadays we speak about the Reichspogromnacht. As the term "Kristallnacht" is used in the book "Joseph und me" we will use it in this text.

Synagogue Goch
Burning Synagogue in Goch

Herzogenstraße 8


Boykott of jewish shops


Thorashield of the jewish Community in Goch

Synagoge Goch

Marching SA-Troopers
Goch Market

Created by :
R. Warrener
Text from:
Tamara Eichhofer und Alessandra Crotty - nach Judy Hoffman, Joseph and me, In the Days of the Holochaust, KTAV Publishing Company Inc., 1979, ISBN 0-87068-655-0
Graham Warrener
B1 -Fotomontage R. Warrener, StAG
JHM 00004527_q )
B2 - Kaufboykott jüdischer Geschäfte - (Quelle: Yadvashem_ID30312, unknown, Public Domain)
B3 - Thoraschild - StAG
B4 - SA Goch - StAG