Bettmann / Corbis
The Night of Broken Glass
November 9, 1938, Jewish people in Germany and German-controlled
territories were beaten, arrested and killed. Synagogues were burned and
Jewish businesses were vandalized. In most cases, the police made no
effort to control the mobs that carried out these crimes.
Kristallnacht, literally, “Night of Crystal,” is often referred
to as the “Night of Broken Glass.” The name refers to the wave of
violent anti-Jewish pogroms
which took place on November 9 and 10, 1938, throughout Germany,
annexed Austria, and in areas of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia
recently occupied by German troops.
Instigated primarily by Nazi Party officials and members of the SA (Sturmabteilungen: literally Assault Detachments, but commonly known as Storm Troopers) and Hitler Youth, Kristallnacht owes
its name to the shards of shattered glass that lined German streets in
the wake of the pogrom–broken glass from the windows of synagogues,
homes, and Jewish-owned businesses plundered and destroyed during the
In its aftermath, German officials announced that Kristallnacht had
erupted as a spontaneous outburst of public sentiment in response to
the assassination of Ernst vom Rath, a German embassy official stationed
in Paris. Herschel Grynszpan, a 17-year-old Polish Jew, had shot the
diplomat on November 7, 1938. A few days earlier, German authorities had
expelled thousands of Jews of Polish citizenship living in Germany from
the Reich; Grynszpan had received news that his parents, residents in
Germany since 1911, were among them.
Initially denied entry into their native Poland, Grynszpan’s parents
and the other expelled Polish Jews found themselves stranded in a
refugee camp near the town of Zbaszyn in the border region between
Poland and Germany. Already living illegally in Paris himself, a
desperate Grynszpan apparently sought revenge for his family’s
precarious circumstances by appearing at the German embassy and shooting
the diplomatic official assigned to assist him.
Vom Rath died on November 9, 1938, two days after the shooting. The day happened to coincide with the anniversary of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch,
an important date in the National Socialist calendar. The Nazi Party
leadership, assembled in Munich for the commemoration, chose to use the
occasion as a pretext to launch a night of antisemitic excesses. Propaganda
minister Joseph Goebbels, a chief instigator of the pogrom, intimated
to the convened Nazi ‘Old Guard’ that ‘World Jewry’ had conspired to
commit the assassination and announced that, “the FÃ¼hrer 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.”
German children watch as a synagogue in Kuppenheim, Baden Germany, burns
during Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. November 10, 1938.
Photo credit: Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart, courtesy of USHMM Photo Archives.
Over two days some 90 Jews were killed in an orgy of violence, while
around 30,000 Jewish males were rounded up for deportation to
concentration camps. Over 1,000 synagogues were burned or damaged.
The following day, the paper carried a number of reports and pictures about the attacks, including the news that anti-Jew laws were to be introduced in Germany.
There was a piece about the ‘Aryanisation‘ of Jewish property as well as a chilling interview with a Manchester woman who had been caught up in the violence and arrests.
Two survivors recall horrors of Kristallnacht
by alberta lindsey, the associated press
richmond, va. | It was Nov. 10, 1938, about 2 p.m.
Eleven-year-old Alex Lebenstein stood frightened in the front yard of
his family’s home in Haltern, Germany.
“All of a sudden, these people came around the corner screaming
anti-Semitic slogans. A boy I had been in kindergarten with was shooting
at me with a slingshot. It was the first time I had seen my father
totally defenseless. I put my hand in his and I felt sweat from his hand
on mine,” Lebenstein recalled.
For survivors of Kristallnacht, the terror is as fresh in their minds
now as the day Jews were attacked throughout the German Reich.
Lebenstein still gets emotional when sharing his story.
“One of the men grabbed my father by the shoulder and spit in his face.
They tore his World War I medals from his shirt and stomped them into
the ground. They started beating my father. Furniture started flying
through the windows. My mother was screaming: ‘Let’s get out of here.
They are killing us.’ We slipped out a back street, hoping the men would
be finished soon and we could go back home,” he said.
About 130 miles away in Mainz, Germany, Ruth Rosenberg, 13, also was
scared. Ten Nazis searched for guns in the apartment where her family
“We didn’t have any. I had never seen a gun,” Rosenberg said. “They went
all through the apartment. They couldn’t open one cabinet, so I took a
screwdriver and forced the cabinet open.”
Now Richmond, Va., is home for Lebenstein, 77, and Rosenberg, 79. They
recalled Kristallnacht, the government-sponsored attack on Nov. 9 and
Rosenberg tries not to dwell on her memories, but Lebenstein still
dreams about the events of that time. It was the worst two days of his
life, he said. In an effort to make something positive out of the
horrors of Kristallnacht, Lebenstein returned to his hometown in 1995. A
letter from two high school students in Haltern asking him to tell them
about Kristallnacht changed his mind. He still has the letter.
Since then, he has made several trips to Haltern and has already been
invited to return next year. “I feel a responsibility to teach the
truth. To teach people to be tolerant. That’s my responsibility. That’s
why I go there,” he said.
“Never again” rings very hollow, doesn’t it?
This holds true for Christians of all stripes, and there are daily reports of Catholic Churches around
the globe being razed to the ground, and their Church members being
rounded up and murdered. And still the world says – and does –
Where is President Obama as Egypt’s Coptic Christians Die and Churches Burn?
Last week, hundreds of Coptic Christians in Egypt stood up to a mob
of 20 thousand Muslims. They risked their lives to protect their church,
their religious freedom and each other. As Copts continue to suffer and
die and their churches and property are destroyed, Christians have
begun to notice President Obama’s silence.
KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) – According to Asia News, Coptic Christians are experiencing an escalation of attacks by Islamists, and they are becoming a daily occurrence. Asia News
reported two attacks that occurred last week. Furthermore, as Copts
continue to suffer and die and their churches and property are
destroyed, Christians have begun to notice President Obama’s silence.
May17, over 20 thousand Muslims attacked the church of St. Mary in
Alexandria. They set fire to the entrance of the building and shattered
the windows. In response to the attack, hundreds of courageous Copts
formed a human wall around the perimeter of the church, effectively
using their bodies as shields against the huge mob. Some Islamists were
armed with guns and knives. They shot at the Copts, causing some serious
From Egyptian Streets in August 2013:
Coptic churches burn amid violence in Egypt
Coptic Christians call for greater protection as wave of violence sweeps across Egypt
By Mohamed Khairat, Founder, EgyptianStreets.com
St. Mary Church in Fayoum attacked, looted
Violence in Egypt has taken a dark turn
for sectarianism as more than 45 churches and Coptic institutions were
torched or stormed across the country.
The wave of attacks against Copts and
their houses of worship, businesses, schools and homes came as Egypt’s
security forces dispersed two large pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo.
In cities across Egypt, from Sohag and
Minya to Cairo and Assiut, Islamists took to the streets attacking
churches. In one case in Minya, a Coptic man and his wife were detained
before being killed by armed individuals.
In one incident, Islamists torched parts of one of Egypt’s oldest churches that was reportedly built in the 4th Century.
In a frantic email to Egyptian Streets, a
Coptic student in Minya said, “They are burning everything we own, and
there is no security in sight. Is this Islam? Is this what the Muslim
Brotherhood want? To burn Egypt to the grounds!”
In one week alone, reports Joel Rosenberg,
Violence out of control in Egypt. Over 700 dead. Upwards of 40 churches burned.
In Uncategorized on August 17, 2013
Adu, Nigeria — Gabriel Anthony, 25, was steeped in quiet,
prayerful devotion at 5 a.m. on Sunday (Sept. 1) in this northern
Nigerian village when he heard gunshots.
“Within minutes, bullets were piercing into our rooms,”
Anthony told Morning Star News. “I escaped from my room by jumping
through the window.”
A half hour later, seven of his relatives in Adu village,
Kaduna state, were dead, including his father, 60-year-old Anthony Nkom;
his mother, 45-year-old Asabe Anthony; his brother, 35-year-old James
Anthony; and another brother, 37-year-old Andrew Anthony. Also killed
were three of his nephews — 5-year-old Meshack Aaron, 12-year-old Bulus
James Anthony, and 15-year-old Happiness Anthony.
The bodies of Happiness and Meshack were buried in one grave, and those of the other five in another.
Besides these seven people, two other
Christians in the village were killed and three were wounded in the
attack by more than a dozen ethnic Fulani Muslims, Anthony said. All of
those killed were members of the St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Adu….
Again, not an isolated incident in Nigeria, or in many other countries around the world. In Iraq:
Attacks against Christians in Iraq ongoing
24 April 2013 | Christian Newswire
Islamist extremists want Iraq to be a “Muslim only” country. As a
result, Christians in Iraq remain continuous targets of violent attacks.
Each month Open Doors field workers receive sad phone calls and
emails of Christian acquaintances who report attacks against the
Christians near them. While most of them are part of the general
violence, such as bomb attacks and mortar fire which intensified during
provincial elections last Saturday, a part of the violence can be
labelled as specifically targeted against Christians.
“If these attacks take place in a Christian neighbourhood or a
Christian village, you can assume they are targeted, especially against
the Christian population of the neighbourhoods and villages,” said an
Open Doors field worker.
“Since the fall of Saddam Hussein 10 years ago, an estimated 1,000
Christians have been killed, a relatively high number compared with
percentages killed from other groups in Iraqi society.”
A Christian in Mosul was the target of two attacks in one week last
March. After the first bomb exploded in his house on a Wednesday, a
second one was thrown over his fence on Sunday. The Christian saw two
young men running away. The second bomb, wrapped in a black bag and a
women’s t-shirt, was deactivated by a military engineering team.
In early April, Adbuljabar Khidher Toza, another Christian from
Mosul, wasn’t so fortunate. Armed men shot him to death in front of his
All these targeted attacks serve only one purpose, shares the field worker:
“We received documents and threats stating that the aim of the
Islamist Insurgents is to make Iraq a ‘Muslim only’ country; they want
the Christians out.”
Louis Raphael Sako, the newly-elected Chaldean Catholic patriarch of
Iraq and Syria, says he is afraid of what Islamist rule would mean for
“People are afraid of a kind of Islamic state as it was in
the seventh century where Christians would be considered second-class
citizens,” he said.
According to Open Doors’ 2013 World Watch List materials, there are
only an estimated 330,000 to 350,000 Christians left in Iraq. There were
more than 1.2 million Christians in the early 1990s. Many of the
believers have fled to Jordan and Lebanon or to the northern Kurdish
region of Iraq. Iraq is ranked No 4 on the list of the worst persecutors
around the globe….
Read the rest here.
From Iran – where there has been a ‘crack down on Christians’ in recent years:
Iranian Christian flogged after drinking Communion wine
Published 01 November 2013
An Iranian Christian was flogged on Wednesday, according to rights
groups, after a court in Rasht, Iran sentenced him and three other
Christians to 80 lashes for drinking wine as part of a Holy Communion
According to the Middle East Correspondent for Morning Star News,
Behzad Taalipasand, a convert from Islam, received the 80 lashes after
being arrested on December 31, 2012 and sentenced this month for
drinking alcohol, quoting two sources — Middle East Concern (MEC) and
Christian Solidarity Worldwide…
More details here.
That is but an overview, and a a few examples of Jews and Christians
being murdered with impunity. I won’t even get into the insanity of the
daily attacks on Jews withIN Israel, and the ongoing Iranian commitment
to wiping Israel off the map (aided and abetted by the current US
administration – and the UN.)
And the list goes on and on and on of Christians being prosecuted, murdered: Kenya, Syria, Iraq. For ongoing coverage of these crimes against Christians that world msm and politicians choose to turn a blind eye to, go to Jihad Watch, who has daily updates.
And the world shrugs, just as it did in 1938. Just as the
world chose to ignore the genocide led by Hitler, today it seems that
the global community continues to cling to their wilful ignorance.
Kristallnacht: Never again?
Holocaust Survivor Henry Greenbaum so aptly says in this video: “Human beings are capable of doing anything.” As current events continue to prove we ignore – or choose to ‘forget’ such atrocities at our peril.
NEVER again? NEVER forget: Tyranny STILL rampages in neighbourhoods around the world.
Educate yourself. Pay attention.