When Kurt Lorig helped add the Hebrew letter "Lamed" to the Torah, it was just one of 304,805 letters written by hand into a copy of the holy book being completed at Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach.
But for him, those few strokes of the pen brought back memories of Kristallnacht — the Night of Broken Glass. It was a prelude to the pain Lorig endured during the Holocaust.
"They took us as the devils of the world," said Lorig, 83, recalling Kristallnacht, the 1938 Nazi program against Jewish homes and businesses. "They made it propaganda and blamed us for everything."
At the time, Lorig, was a 10-year-old Jewish boy growing up in Germany.
"The temples were destroyed," Lorig continued, "and they took our holy scriptures, our Torahs, and they threw them in the street and danced on them."
During Kristallnacht, which unfolded on the nights of Nov. 9 and 10, tens of thousands of Jews were detained and sent to concentration camps.