Friday, November 09, 2007

JohnnyMac: Kristallnacht

Kristallnacht: November 9, 1938

The night the Holocaust began. Almost seventy years ago tonight, the Biblical interrogative was put to the German nation, "Am I my brothers keeper?'', and the German people responded with a resounding "NO!", and launched a wave of anti-Semitic barbarity not seen in Europe since the late Middle Ages.

In response to the shooting death of a minor German Embassy official by a disaffected young Jew in Paris, thousands of plainclothed Nazi stormtroopers, displaying the ''righteous and spontaneous anger of the German people'' crowed the club-footed Propaganda Minister Joesph Goebbels, went on a rampage of violence all across Germany, destroying Jewish homes and businesses and putting synagogues to the torch. Hundreds of people were injured, ninty-one lost their lives, and thousands more were carted off to concentration camps.

Among the many victims of that "Night of Broken Glass'' was a Jewish Berlin schoolgirl's father, taken from his home and family; he was never seen again. That young girl would grow up to become Dr. Ruth L. Westheimer. Little wonder someone so traumatized by ethnic and religious hatred and war would make it their vocation to help others find love and happiness and create new life.

The events that unfolded on that long-ago November night would, in time, lead to the most destructive war in human history. A war, in which author and historian William L. Shier noted, "which few would escape its consequences and millions more would not survive them''. To their credit, the German people have done much to atone for the crimes of that era--but evil slumbers and keeps one eye open, always waiting for its moment to strike. And, as history has shown, all it takes for evil to prosper is for ''good men to do nothing''.

Today, humanity is threatened by a new evil--Islamofascism--a fellow traveler and ideological soul-mate to Nazism--and, with few exceptions, the world has either been indifferent to it or denies it outright. I pray humanity will show the same resolve in defeating it that it did in defeating Nazism.

It will always be incumbent on all of us to be our brothers keeper and, in doing so, we must NEVER FORGET the millions of every race and creed who perished in the horror, and we must always REMEMBER and HONOR the sacrifice of millions more who gave so much--and who fought so heroically--to put an end to it.


Anonymous Canadian Steve said...

That is excellent. I frankly try not to think of the holocaust in any real way. It's too unbearably tragic and close to home, especially in light of today's renewed anti-Semitism, augmented by the institution with the name, United Nations.

7:05 PM  
Blogger CHOMP said...

J'Mac, you must have worked hard to write such a heartfelt article! You managed to capture this event and the unbelievable tragedy.


7:10 PM  
Anonymous prairieson said...

Excellent essay, J'Mac.

The Nazis were experts at creating "reasons" for barbarity. Today, their brothers are doing the same in the Middle East -- only we know them as Islamofascists.

Same species of animal, different part of the world.

10:42 PM  
Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Arnold-Evil is evil, it may wear a different mask, but the beast always gets around to showing it's ugly self!
JohnnyMac-Beautiful piece of writing!
Throw G*D out, and evil is given free reign, Europe and all hateful mohammadins AND THOSE COUNTRIES THAT STAND ASIDE will suffer! And America is asking for judgment by forcing the division of Jerusalem and the giving away of Covenant Land! Look at the Europe and America. Did you know that during the Diaspora, Israel suffered an 1800 year drought? It eas only broken when the Jews started to return home.


4:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnny that was beautiful! Well written and heartfelt all the way.


4:52 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

"To their credit, the German people have done much to atone for the crimes of that era--but evil slumbers and keeps one eye open, always waiting for its moment to strike."

I worry that Germans, although Nazism is outlawed, haven't changed in their hearts. I don't see another Holocaust happening because the world, "the good men who did nothing" will not repeat that disgrace.

JohnnyMac, this was a great post and thank you for sharing this with us all.


6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good afternoon folks and thank you. Remember, we're all in this together. J'Mac.

9:26 AM  

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