“Antisemitism is real! The threats against Canadian Jews are real! For God’s sake, take action now before someone dies.”
The sound of windows being smashed by Jew-hating Nazi rioters in the Germany and Austria of 1938 is echoing in the Canada of today on the 85th anniversary of the Kristallnacht.
Kristallnacht of 1938 echoes in Canada of 2023
According to a background essay posted on the Vad Yashem website, the Kristallnacht was a pogrom (riot/massacre targeting Jews) carried out by the Nazis in Germany and Austria on Nov. 9 and 10, 1938. “The name Kristallnacht refers to the glass of the shop windows smashed by the rioters.” In addition, “hundreds of synagogues and Jewish homes were burnt down and many Jews were physically assaulted.”
Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, includes a collection that documents the Kristallnacht. According to the Vad Vashem website, the exhibition “depicts the brutal blow suffered by the Jews on Kristallnacht: the physical violence, the property damage, the synagogue desecration and destruction, and the horrifying sight of holy books and Torah scrolls in flames.”
“Some 30,000 Jews, many of them wealthy and prominent members of their communities, were arrested and deported to the concentration camps at Dachau, Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald, where they were subjected to inhumane and brutal treatment and many died,” the background paper explains. “During the pogrom itself, some 90 Jews were murdered.”
The unchecked spread of virulent antisemitism in Germany of the 1930s set the stage for the Kristallnacht. And the Kristallnacht was the prologue to the Holocaust and the mass murder of six million Jews by the Nazis.
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