The nazi Kristallnacht and US Islamophobia today


This video is called Survivors Remember Kristallnacht: Susan (Hilsenrath) Warsinger.

By Brian Levin, J.D., Director, Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, California State University in the USA:

On Kristallnacht Anniversary, Critical Lessons Remain Unheeded

NAZIS SMASH, LOOT AND BURN JEWISH SHOPS AND TEMPLES UNTIL GOEBELLS CALLS HALT, The New York Times announced on its front page of November 11, 1938. From Austria, the newspaper reported “All Vienna’s Synagogues Attacked” and “Many of those arrested were sent to prisons or concentration camps in busses.” From Berlin, correspondent Otto Tolischus wrote of concentration camps and the errie noise of the “shattering of shop windows falling to the ground.” …

The most probable and immediate threat to American Muslims today is not that they will be rounded up over a couple of days in some dramatic orgy of state approved violence like Kristallnacht. Rather, the threat lies in a continuing incremental erosion and estrangement of them by other Americans. …

The tragedy of Kristallnacht lay not only in what the Nazis did do, but in what the majority of the world failed to do. That may well be Kristallnacht’s most important, yet most unheeded lesson. As Martin Luther King declared:

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

All of the mistrust, prejudices, and abuses that Muslims face in the post 9/11 world are things Jews should be quite familiar with. It was not so long ago that prominent public figures like Father Coughlin and Henry Ford proclaimed publicly that Jews were enemies of American values, that our leaders were secretly maneuvering to undermine the Constitution in favor of an anti-Christian state, and that we were simply not to be trusted. This resulted in pervasive discrimination that permeated all aspects of our lives, from where we went to school to where we lived and where we felt safe to walk. Our American Jewish history provides an important backdrop for the solidarity that we could show to our American Muslim brothers and sisters, should we be so inclined: here.

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8 thoughts on “The nazi Kristallnacht and US Islamophobia today

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