It was once impossible to imagine Germany without Jews. You only have to look at the Yiddish language to have a sense how richly the Jewish experience was integrated in the cultural life of Germany. That ended in the most vicious and heinous manner, 75 years ago Saturday, in what became known as Kristallnacht — "The Night of Broken Glass." The broken glass was from Jewish homes and buildings, and came to symbolize shattered Jewish lives. Some also consider it the start of the Holocaust. Back in 1988, NPR reporter Ketzel Levine pulled together some of the sounds of that period. This is an excerpt from that story.
On Nov. 9, 1938, the Nazis burned down synagogues, destroyed Jewish businesses and arrested more than 26,000 Jews. Germans and Jews alike are still grappling with the legacy, 75 years later. Margot Friedlander is one survivor, who has returned to Berlin after decades of exile.
A cast of lawyers and a federal judge in New York City perform dramatic re-enactments of historic trials involving Asian-Americans. Their latest production, 22 Lewd Chinese Women, focuses on a 19th-century Supreme Court case with parallels to present-day immigration debates.
Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Fla., was named decades ago for a Confederate hero — who was also the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. More than 160,000 people have signed a petition urging a name change, but the current name has also drawn passionate support.
The Secret Service made some immediate changes after the president's death 50 years ago this month: Open limousines were out. And it began taking a more aggressive approach to its advance work. Over the years, the service has established counter-sniper units, assault teams and surveillance units.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers are known for their near-perfect voices and performances of African-American spiritual songs. Now the choir's musical director is on the road, mentoring to young groups across the South. He's also hoping to preserve the songs too.
In 2003, U.S. forces discovered a trove of Jewish documents in a flooded Baghdad basement. They tell the tale of a once-thriving Jewish community. The painstakingly restored documents will be exhibited in the U.S. before they are returned to Iraq. But some Jewish groups are trying to prevent that.
Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Shaw was home to several open-air drug markets, and shootings were not uncommon. But it was still a neighborhood with longtime residents who refused to give up on their community — including WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.