The National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education (NCCHE) at Seton Hill University will hold its annual Kristallnacht Remembrance Service on Tuesday, November 6 at 6 p.m. The service, which is open to the public, will be held in St. Joseph Chapel on Seton Hill’s Greensburg, Pa. campus.

On November 9 and 10, 1938, Nazis burned synagogues, looted Jewish homes and businesses and murdered individuals throughout Germany, Austria and other Nazi controlled areas in a pogrom that came to be called Kristallnacht, “the night of broken glass.” (The allusion is to the broken glass that littered the ground from the shattered windows of Jewish-owned businesses.) Eric Blaustein, now of Mt. Lebanon, Pa., “grew up under the ever worsening pressure of Nazi persecution which led to Kristallnacht” and will serve as the featured speaker at this year’s Kristallnacht Remembrance Service. Also participating in the ceremony will be area Holocaust survivors Robert Mendler of Latrobe, Pa., Jack Sittsamer of Squirrel Hill, Pa., Shulamit Bastacky of Squirrel Hill, Pa., Sam and Goldie Weinreb of White Oak, Pa., members of the local Greensburg community, and faculty, students and staff of Seton Hill University.

Eric W. Blaustein bio
Born in Chemnitz, Germany in 1926, Eric W. Blaustein entered school in 1933, the same year Hitler assumed power. In 1943, he went into hiding in an attempt to escape incarceration in a concentration camp, but was arrested in 1944 and sent to Buchenwald. After being liberated by the U.S. Army in 1945, he attended a technical university in Germany and earned his M.E. in civil engineering. In 1948, just days after his graduation, he left Germany and joined the Israeli army, where he served as a combat officer from 1948 – 1950. Blaustein worked in Israel as a civil engineer from 1950 – 54, marrying in 1951. In 1954 he arrived in the United States, and worked as a civil engineer in New York and Cleveland, Ohio from 1954 – 1973. In 1973 he moved to Pittsburgh, where he worked as a chief engineer, eventually becoming a vice president for a local company. Blaustein retired in 1994 and since has served as a volunteer in the Anthropology Department at the Carnegie Museum in Oakland (he has had a lifelong interest in Biblical history and archeology). Blaustein has 2 children, 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

For more information on the Kristallnacht Remembrance Service, please contact the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill University by logging on to or calling 724-830-1033.

The National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education (NCCHE) was established on the campus of Seton Hill University in 1987. Seton Hill initiated this national Catholic movement toward Holocaust studies in response to the urging of Pope John Paul II to recognize the significance of the Shoah, the Holocaust, and to "promote the necessary historical and religious studies on this event which concerns the whole of humanity today." The NCCHE has as its primary purpose the broad dissemination of scholarship on the root causes of anti-Semitism, its relation to the Holocaust and the implications from the Catholic perspective of both for today's world. Toward this end the Center is committed to equipping scholars, especially those at Catholic institutions, to enter into serious discussion on the causes of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust; shaping appropriate curricular responses at Catholic institutions and other educational sites; sustaining Seton Hill's Catholic Institute for Holocaust Studies in Israel through a cooperative program with Yad Vashem, the Isaac Jacob Institute for Religious Law and Hebrew University; encouraging scholarship and research through conferences, publications, workshops for educators, and similar activities; sponsoring local events on the Holocaust and related topics in the University and the community and enhancing Catholic-Jewish relations.