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The “night of broken glass” could return amid this anti-Semitism surge. Thursday’s headline from the Times of Israel tells the tragic story of the hatred raging through the world, and how it is affecting plans to commemorate this somber anniversary: “With antisemitism surging, Diaspora synagogues are ‘afraid’ to mark Kristallnacht.”
A brief history of Kristallnacht is found at American Thinker:
November 9th marks the eighty-fifth anniversity of Kristallnacht, the infamous “night of broken glass.”
The pretext for this part-pogrom, part state-sponsored riot was the assassination of German embassy official Ernst vom Rath in Paris. Throughout Germany and Austria, primarily in heavily Jewish areas, synagogues were destroyed, businesses gutted, and for the first time, Jews were arrested by the thousands and sent to the existing concentration camps like Dachau.
Looking back, the mortal danger to the Jews of Germany was obvious. The Jews of Germany and Austria were concerned, of course, but many were comforted by the idea that Jews had survived calamities before and discrimination even leading to violence, was often a feature of the world they lived in. They just need to lie low, and the threat would pass.
When Hitler came to power many still did not take him seriously. One Jewish commentator in Chicago echoed what was commonly believed: Speculating that while the situation for Jews in Germany was dire, it was unlikely that Hitler would remain in power past one year.
The Nazis had made it clear that Jews were to be ostracized. The Nuremberg Laws had begun to be enforced, amounting to the isolation and exclusion of Jews from society. Physicians, professors, teachers, and civil servants all faced restrictions that often prevented them even interacting with Gentiles.
Large numbers of Jews who were able left the country. But others waited. It was Kristallnacht that left no doubt; Jewish life in Germany was at an end.