Saturday, November 9, 2013


by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

With the steady surge in religious intolerance, antipathy toward the poor, racial bigotry, and garden-variety fascism in America, it would probably be of benefit to occasional look over our collective shoulders and note the effects of intolerance run amok.  Examples of the dominant group trying to destroy the power or the very existence of a subgroup are unfortunately common in history.  One stark example is the near decimation of Native Americans by European settlers.  Another much more recent example is the Nazis' murder of over six million Jews during World War II in an attempt to completely remove followers of Judaism from the face of the earth.

On the evening of November 9, 1938, exactly seventy-five years this very night, many Germans and Austrians who had been fired up by the leaders of the Nazi Party took to the streets and burned synagogues, as well as homes and stores of their Jewish neighbors.   More than a thousand Jews were killed that night, and another thirty-thousand were rounded up and sent to concentration camps.  Most never left those camps.

The broken glass covering the sidewalks and streets that night sparkled in the light from the fires - giving rise to the name that was coined to mark the event:  Kristallancht, or Crystal Night (also, "the night of broken glass").  It was the opening salvo in the Nazi's war on Jews (the Holocaust), and it forever serves as a reminder of what happens when good people stand aside and remain silent when intolerance rages.

Hate lives, unfortunately, and it is always looking for a way to grab power.  Those who would challenge  the rise of despots need to be ever vigilant. 

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