Holocaust survivor to speak at URI, Nov. 13

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 6, 2013 — As it is described in static history books, 75 years ago Nazis in Germany torched synagogues and vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses. In the aftermath of what became known as Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” Nov. 9-10, 1938, some 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps.

Alice Goldstein did not just read about Kristallnacht, she was an eyewitness. On Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 2 to 3 p.m., Goldstein will speak about her experiences at URI’s Norman M. Fain Hillel Center, 6 Fraternity Circle, Kingston Campus. Her talk is free and open to the public.

A retired social researcher in population studies from Brown University, Goldstein had spent the first eight years of her life in Nazi Germany. Born into a family that had been in Germany for two centuries, she saw the gradual isolation and degradation of her parents and grandparents as the Nazis tightened the scope of Jewish activities.

Fortunately, her parents had the foresight to arrange to flee Germany, and they arrived in the United States in August 1939, just one week before the hostilities of World War II began.

Goldstein is a speaker for the Holocaust Education and Resource Center of Rhode Island and her presentation seeks some answers to the question of how such atrocities could happen in a modern democratic state and what lessons can be drawn from her experiences. The Warwick resident is the author of “Ordinary People, Turbulent Times,” which chronicles her story.