Thursday marked the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht — the “night of crystal” or “night of broken glass” — and the common refrain amongst those who remembered the atrocities of that day was devastatingly plain: “Anti-semitic violence is not confined to the past.”

On November 9-10, 1938, the Nazi regime unleashed a coordinated series of pogroms against Jewish communities. Despite the clear coordination of their systematic attacks, the Nazis claimed that their actions were the “justifiable and spontaneous responses” after a Polish Jewish teenager named Herschel Grynszpan assassinated German diplomat Ernst Eduard vom Rath in Paris.

Following the assassination, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels spoke to a group of party officials. He blamed Grynszpan’s desperate act — undertaken only after his family was expelled from Germany and forced into a refugee camp — on the “World Jewry” and then added, “The Führer has decided that … demonstrations should not be prepared or organized by the Party, but insofar as they erupt spontaneously, they are not to be hampered.”

From the evening of November 9 to the early morning hours of November 10, the Sturmabteilung — Storm Troopers — and members of the Hitler Youth ransacked and destroyed Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues. Despite their claims that the actions were “spontaneous,” they took great care to avoid any damage to non-Jewish German properties and confiscated all synagogue archives — to be turned over to the Security Service — prior to destroying the buildings.

(Original Caption) 11/17/38-Berlin: A street scene in Berlin, showing the shattered fronts of Jewish-owned stores, the result of anti-Jewish demonstrations following the slaying of Ernst vom Rath in Germany's Paris embassy. Vom Rath's slayer was a Jewish youth.

Getty Images

As the violence spread, 30,000 Jews were arrested for no crime other than being Jewish. More than 7,000 Jewish-owned businesses were destroyed, more than 1,300 synagogues, and even Jewish cemeteries, were vandalized or destroyed. German reports stated that 91 Jews were killed during Kristallnacht, but more recent estimates suggest that the number was much higher — additionally, according to the Holocaust Encyclopedia, police records indicated a spike in the number of rapes and suicides in the days and weeks that followed.

Germans pass by the smashed windows of a Jewish-owned shop. The aftermath of Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) 9-10 November 1938, the German anti-semitic pogrom , when over 200 Synagogues were destroyed and thousands of Jewish homes and businesses were ransacked. (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images)

Universal History Archive/Getty Images

But as the 85th anniversary of that horrible night falls just over one month since Hamas terrorists breached the border into Israel — and then went door-to-door slaughtering entire families and raping women and girls — those who remember the horrible significance of Kristallnacht see it happening again.


“85 years ago on Nov. 9, 1938, #Kristallnacht began. More than 1,300 synagogues, over 7,000 Jewish stores destroyed or vandalized, many Jewish cemeteries destroyed, over 30,000 Jews deported and 1400 Jews were murdered,” Yaakov Flitchkin posted via X. “Current events painfully show that antisemitic violence is not confined to the past. In memory of the pogroms of #Kristallnacht 9.11.1938. And of 7.10.2023.”

“The Holocaust began with a murderous rampage, #Kristallnacht, 85 years ago today. The only reason the Hamas massacre did not continue and become even more deadly is that today Jews have an army to protect themselves. Never Again,” Michael Dickson added.

Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy shared the story of a Holocaust survivor who only just escaped the Hamas massacre on October 7 — and whose family members were either killed or taken hostage by Hamas terrorists.

“85 years after #Kristallnacht, we will never forgive Hamas for giving our Holocaust survivors flashbacks to the Nazis. Never forgive. Never forget. Never again,” he said.


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