November 9th marks the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht...not something to celebrate, but definitely something to remember. This is when open persecution of the jews began in earnest (again). Kristallnacht, also referred to as the "Night of Broken Glass," marks the beginning of the Holocaust. On November 9th, 1938, 2500+ Jews died, 30,000+ were arrested and 1500+ synagogues were burned. Jewish cemeteries were vandalized and countless Jewish homes and business were destroyed or damaged. After the Germans perpetrated this damage, they then fined the Jews for the damage.
We must remember this anniversary and be aware of what led up to the holocaust so that we do not allow it to occur again. Here is a brief history of the holocaust:
1933 Hitler was elected as Chancellor of Germany.
- There were boycotts of Jewish shops and businesses
- Jews were expelled from professions
- Jews were expelled from civil service
1935 Nuremberg Laws passed the following:
- German Jews were declared not German
- Jews were deprived of all civil rights (police would not help them)
- There was no equality for Jews under German law
- A marriage with a Jew became illegal
- Signs were posted saying "Jews not welcome"
- There were public burnings of all Jewish books, including the Torah scrolls
Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.
Beware when you see one people group being singled out for any reason and being slandered or persecuted. A holocaust could soon be around the corner.