Grandson gives testimonial about Kristallnacht, Night of Broken Glass


A powerful written testimonial about the horrors of the Holocaust was shared at SUNY Broome.

Eliot Fiks, owner of the Whole in the Wall restaurant in Binghamton, gave a presentation about his grandfather’s experiences during the infamous Kristallnacht rampage in Berlin.

Kristallnacht, which means Night of Broken Glass, took place on November 9th, 1938 as gangs of German Nazi’s smashed the storefronts of Jewish merchants, set fire to synagogues and seized and murdered Jewish men.

David Fiks, Eliot’s grandfather, was a furrier whose shop was ransacked and barely escaped with his life.

After fleeing to Paris shortly thereafter, David Fiks wrote a letter to Eliot’s father, then a teenager living in America, describing the events as he witnessed them.

Eliot gave an emotional reading of a portion of the letter to students and staff gathered today.

He says the original letter, which is at the Jewish Museum in Berlin, could be a one-of-a-kind first-hand account. “All of the other letters that they possess were written by Jewish men that were in concentration camps. So they were all censored. But my grandfather’s letter was written once he escaped to Paris. It’s a 24-page letter and, to their knowledge, the only letter that freely describes all of the events.”

Fiks also performed a song he composed about his father’s efforts to secure a visa for his grandfather to escape Germany.

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