I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Home Uncategorized The Barbarians Strike

The Barbarians Strike

John Swift
The Night of Broken Glass: Eyewitness Accounts of Kristallnacht, Uta Gerhardt and Thomas Karlauf (eds), Polity Press, 279 pp, ISBN: 978-0745650845 The Shoah is a crisis of human history. These memories are an ethical, historical and spiritual … warning to us. They remind us that this happened and could happen again. Romano Prodi at Auschwitz First, they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then, they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then, they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then, they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me. Martin Niemöller A junior German diplomat, Ernst vom Rath, was shot by Herschel Grynszpan, a German-born Polish Jew, in Paris on November 7th, 1938; vom Rath died on November 9th. Hitler and Goebbels organised a fierce pogrom against Jewish persons and property, which took place on the night of November 10th and 11th and over the following days. The declared rationale was that the assassination of vom Rath had been organised by “world Jewry” with a view to disrupting the easing of international tensions brought about by the Munich Agreement in September. The real reason was to further the existing campaign to expel all Jews from Greater Germany and ultimately from Europe. The official government name for the pogrom was Nacht der Volksemporung, that is “Night of the People’s Indignation”. The name, Kristallnacht is a Berlin witticism. In English it is known as the Night of Broken Glass. In the pogrom, about four hundred Jews were killed, while a very large number were arrested, publicly humiliated and physically abused, some forty thousand being sent to concentration camps, the majority to Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen, where they were detained for at least a month in atrocious conditions. Synagogues all over Germany were burned and desecrated; Jewish homes, shops and businesses were attacked, their owners insulted and terrorised and their contents systematically and meticulously destroyed; Jewish schools, orphanages, cemeteries, youth clubs and cultural institutes were vandalised, damaged or desecrated. The reactions of non-Jewish Germans ranged from scorn, mockery and abuse, through indifference, real or feigned, to active sympathy and covert support for the victims. The events of Kristallnacht fitted into a coherent package of racial theory, hate campaigns, and an increasingly severe series of…

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