View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Monday, 9 November 2015

NaBloPoMo - Kristallnacht (day #9)

I always make a point of commemorating 9th November 1938. It is a black day in a black period of European history. A black day, although even blacker ones were to follow in the six and a half years afterwards. In the Germany of Adolf Hitler, Jewish properties across the land were attacked, vandalised and torched. This included homes, shops and synagogues. Cynically dubbed Reichskristallnacht, it was a concerted campaign of terror against those who professed the Jewish faith. The German word means national night of broken glass. Although in German, nouns are capitalised, I refuse to afford the translation the dignity of capitals at the start of each word. It was a disgrace on humanity and a stain on the culture of Germany past and up to 1938. Far worse followed, because between 1939 and 1945, six million were put to death at the orders of Nazi Germany - merely for being Jewish and / or not conforming to their warped ideas of what constituted a proper human being. We are all proper human beings. Many ordinary Germans did know about what went on, but would not speak out. Mostly through fear, a few because they condoned what went on - or they just wanted to get on with their lives. The phrase, after the war, was Ich habe es nicht gewusst, I didn't know about it.

Commemorating the Kristallnacht tends to leave me upset. However, we have moved on, and it's now 77 years since those awful events. Nonetheless, I'll continue to post about this subject in coming years.

Lest we forget.