KRISTALLNACHT (Night of Broken Glass)

m lopes azevedo

Today, on November 12, 1938, the Nazi SS leader of the allegedly highly cultured Germany and Austria announced that on November 9, 1938 (the Night of broken Glass or Kristallnaght), 267 synagogues were burned, 177 them totally destroyed. Seven thousand Jewish businesses were destroyed.
Meanwhile, in then poor humble Portugal, in the same year, 1938, captain Barros Basto, the "Apostle of the Marranos" put the finishing touches on the "Cathedral of the North", the Kadoorie Mekor Haim synagogue in Porto, which he had started building in 1929. Kadoorie is the family name of Sir Ellie Kadoorie of Hong Kong who contributed the last 5,000.00 pounds necessary to finish the synagogue. It is the only synagogue ever built in Portugal for Marranos. It is the only new synagogue built in Europe in 1938 and the only synagogue built in the world in the 20th century for Marranos.
The captain was persecuted by Salazar`s new state and the its accomplice, the Catholic Church which built an even bigger temple just up the road in the same art deco style as the synagogue. Although Captain Barros Basto`s dream fell into disrepair, today, his spirit lives on with a new generation of Marranos intent on rescuing Portugal`s Jewish common heritage. We shall not forget.