November 9, 2008, - 12:59 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Today is the 70th Anniversary of Kristallnacht–the “Night of Broken Glass”.
On that night, Nazis raided, vandalized, burned down, or otherwise destroyed German Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues, while non-Jewish residents and police and fireman watched and did nothing.
On November 9-10, 1938, more than 90 Jewish people were murdered and about 30,000 Jewish men were sent to concentration camps where they, too, would mostly face death.
Anti-Semitism always dominated Europe, which is why my paternal grandfather’s family left for America at the turn of the century and my paternal grandmother left not long after. But the night of November 9, 1938 marked the official start of the Holocaust–the official symbol that this European anti-Semitism had escalated to a level of even more unspeakable horrors against Jews than previously imagined.
Photos from Kristallnacht, November 9-10, 1938: Jews Arrested and Sent to Concentration Camps, Synagogues and Jewish Businesses Destroyed . . .
It was a loud disruption to the cocooned view of German Jews that they were cultured and mostly assimilated and, many of them, wealthy, and that their fellow Germans would never harm them. On that night, they finally realized that, in fact, they were not the equals in society they’d believed for centuries that they were. As many of my readers and friends have noted this week, these German Jews have their contemporaries in the liberal Jews who voted for Barack Obama and the party dominated by anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment, the Democrats.
They are the same Jews who constantly do “outreach” to Muslims who openly hate them and praise Hezbollah and HAMAS and homicide bombings. They are also the same Jews who love to mindlessly utter the tired “Never Again” phrase, but gladly associate with those who will ensure that in a generation or two it very likely could happen again.
They are Jews like Jewish News owner Arthur Horwitz who, last week, endorsed Obama in his left-wing rag and this week commemorates the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Through all of this, he is engaged in a commercial partnership with Hezbollah agent, Osama Siblani, owner of the Arab American News–who openly praises Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic hate and HAMAS and Hezbollah terrorist attacks on Jews, prints vile anti-Semitic editorials against Detroit-area Jews, and whose brother is an executive of Al-Manar (Hezbollah’s TV station). Horwitz is trying to promote Siblani’s paper and make it more effective and lucrative.
Yes, the “comfortable” German Jews have been reborn (with apologies to the German Jews of those days who even themselves didn’t behave like the Arthur Horwitzes of today). And they have forgotten the sounds of the breaking glass, of the 20 Jewish suicides of that night seventy years ago, of the screams of 30,000 people arrested and sent to the camps, just because they were Jewish.
While there are no Kristallnachts here right now, and Americans from the center to the right–who are not of the Pat Buchanan bent–are largely philo-Semitic, we also saw, just two weeks ago, “Hit a Jew Day” at a St. Louis public school and have seen increasing incidents of anti-Semitism all over America and violent brutal attacks against Jews all over Europe, particularly in France.
I, myself, have endured the death, rape, and torture threats from four American residents–ALL of them Muslim. Today’s Nazis don’t wear the swastika, they wear the crescent. And they find their most vocal supporters on the left and in the party of the left and its new President-elect. And, yes, they have far too many PC-types who are also yes-men–though to a much lesser extent–in the Republican Party.
Seventy years and many have forgotten. I haven’t forgotten. I have the photos of my late maternal grandmother, Adela, and her friends in their Nazi-imposed Gold Jude star patch. And I have the memories of the many stories my late maternal grandfather, Isaac, told me over the years of his struggle to survive in the death camps and his many close calls with it as he subsisted as a bag of bones working in many camps, including Dora.
Far too many of us have forgotten. Fortunately, a few of us remember.
There are many famous pictures of what Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jews on that particularly night 70 years ago in Germany and for years to come all over Europe, while Muslims–including Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem–begged them to speed up the Final Solution and export it to include the Middle East and North Africa.
My late father, H.L. Schlussel, MD, used to point to the picture of a Nazi SS soldier pulling a rabbi by his beard. He would juxtapose it with his favorite photo by Allan Tannenbaum, of bearded religious Jews in Israel’s Judah and Shomron–the so-called “West Bank”–protecting their homes and lives with M-16s. “That Was Then, This is Now,” was the slogan my father would put on the makeshift copies of the two photos he put together.
Sadly, as my dad lamented, even the “now” may soon be the “then” because my fellow co-religionists, both in Israel and here in America, do not learn from history. They ignore it.
Today, there are different architects of the Final Solution, but the plan is the same. Unfortunately, our impending President wants to hang out with them–the Ahmadinejads and Khaled Meshaals (of HAMAS) of the world–and they happily send him their congratulations and entreaties.
70 years, but that’s in the past. It could never happen now . . . . Right?
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
—Sir Edmund Burke
This Is Now, But it Could Soon Be “Then” . . .