November 10, 2021
Beginning last night, and continuing through today, we remember Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. 83 years ago, on November 9-10, 1938, German Nazis began a brutal campaign to terrorize the Jewish people.
It started with smashed windows, the breaking of glass, that damaged hundreds of synagogues, Jewish homes. Schools and graveyards were desecrated. The statistics are horrifying: 30,000 Jews deported to concentration camps, 7, 500 Jewish businesses destroyed, 267 synagogues burned, 91 Jews murdered.
Unfortunately, the terror did not end with Kristallnacht. The Night of Broken Glass was an event that foreshadowed something much darker and evil with the Holocaust.
As Jews, we are commanded to Remember and to Never forget these traumatic events in our history. We must also be aware of the red flags in front of us, and pay attention to all acts of anti semitism. We must keep our eyes open to the evil that allows hatred to take root in ways that threaten Jews, and any group of people.
There is an alarming uptick in anti semitism. We are living in an atmosphere of distrust, fear, and division. Knee jerk opposition and toxic outrage are the stances d’jour. We must resist falling into oppositional camps and seek common ground, empathetic understanding.
At the same time, there are times when we must call out misinformed rhetoric and dangerous trends that intensify the divide. There have been current comparisons to Nazi Germany that are inappropriate and dangerous. Regardless of one’s stance on mask and vaccine mandates during the Covid-19 Pandemic, connections to Nazi Germany are appalingly inaccurate, and shockingly disrespectful to the memory of millions that were methodically murdered during the Holocaust, andto the survivors that lived with this unspeakable trauma.
The misappropriation of the Holocaust is dangerous. If you encounter it, challenge it. The memory of those who perished during the Shoah deserve our moral backbone. And the well being of the Jewish people requires the same.
Remember and never forget.