Always remember, never forget.
And: Never again.
The 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht communicates a dire warning in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and a worldwide surge of modern anti-Semitism.
Kristallnacht, translated as the “Night of the Broken Glass,” refers to the broken windows of the thousands of synagogues, Jewish homes and Jewish businesses that Nazis ransacked and looted throughout Germany and Austria from Nov. 9 through 10 in 1938. Those two days, also known as the November Pogrom, marked the first time the Nazi party meted out violence against the Jewish people en masse — the beginning of what would prove to be the Nazis’ horrifying and brutal campaign against the Jewish people, Catholics, the handicapped, dissidents and other minorities, claiming the lives of up to 15 to 20 million people….
In addition to destroying and looting Jewish places of worship, businesses and homes, the Nazis arrested 33,000 German-Jewish men and shipped them to the concentration camps of Buchenwald, Dachau and Sachsenhausen. The Nazis’ goal, according to historians, was to force Jews to flee Germany and Austria and take as few of their possessions with them as they could, so the Nazis could confiscate the wealth they left behind. Those selected for arrest were largely Jewish citizens whose property had not already been claimed by the state.
While Nazi authorities issued the order to Storm Troopers to carry out the violence, historians say regular German citizens also joined in the ransacking and looting on Nov. 10, or stood by and watched as the Nazis sent thousands of their fellow citizens to concentration camps days later….