Kristallnacht, “the Night of Broken Glass” when on November 9, 1938, and continuing the next day, Nazi paramilitary forces and civilians attacked Jewish communities across Germany.
Synagogues, homes, schools, businesses and cemeteries were burned or destroyed. Police and firemen stood by and watched.
People were assaulted and nearly 100 were killed. About 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to the first concentration camps.
The Start of the Holocaust
The Holocaust (Shoah) began with the rise of a demagogue, Adolf Hitler who took power in 1933. For the next five years Jewish Germans were harassed.
The racist outburst of Kristallnacht was a turn into the most evil practices which killed between 6 and 17 million people, depending on how you define it.
The Holocaust still affects many families in New York City and around the world. There are empty chairs at the family table every Friday Shabbat dinner.
It Can Happen Again
You think this can’t happen again? What do you think is happening in the United States and the world in the 2020s?
By “othering” and using violence instead of the ballot box, we have started down the same path as Nazi Germany in the 1930s. That ended with World War II, over 50 million deaths, the destruction of many countries, and nuclear ruins.
Kristallnacht was a warning to civilization. The violence erupting in the United States and the world now is equally a warning. It’s easy to tear things down, but terribly difficult to build them up. If we are not careful, we risk losing much of what we love about America.
This happened before. Let’s not let it happen again. It doesn’t only affect our Jewish community. It affects us all. No child deserves violence and war.
NEVER FORGET! Silence is complicit.