Saturday, November 10, 2007

Kristallnacht remembered

I missed a very important observance yesterday. This omission was brought to my attention by a parishioner, Lucia, who is German and who remembers living through this horror as a young girl. Sixty-nine years ago yesterday the pogrom, known to history as Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, occurred. On this night, in a coordinated campaign of violence and terror, the National Socialist government, abnegating the greatest responsibility a government has, to protect its citizens, unleashed elements of the Nazi SA and the SS who, along with some civilians, attacked and ransacked 8,000 businesses owned by Jewish citizens and many thousands of Jewish homes across Germany and in parts of Austria. Buildings were destroyed with sledgehammers and many Jews were beaten to death. On this night some 30,000 Jewish men were carted off to concentration camps. Additionally, close to 1,700 synagogues were attacked and over 250 set on fire.

This night marked the beginning of the six year nightmare. I am sorry for having omitted mention of this annivesary yesterday, but grateful that it was remembered to me by a woman who, as a young girl, lived through it and the years that followed. We must never forget. This is all too easily said, as we forget whenever we fail to stop genocide, as we are failing to do in Darfur right now!

I want to end on a hopeful note, which I picked up via Clarity Daily, the story of a German Catholic priest restoring the scrolls of the Torah back to a Cologne synagogue.

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