Eighty-one years ago this weekend, the Jewish community in Germany and surrounding areas were brutally attacked by the Nazis. Thousands of Jewish homes, businesses, schools and other institutions were ransacked. Hundreds of synagogues were burned. The glass from the windows of these destroyed structures littered the streets, giving this horrific pogrom its name, Kristallnacht – The Night of Broken Glass.
In addition to the physical damage, 30,000 Jews were arrested, 91 were murdered and 680 would take their own lives following the pogrom.
Eighty-one years ago.
It’s important to commemorate this horrific attack, but how do we do so in a day and age when anti-Semitism is on the rise?
Today, Jews in Brooklyn worry that they’ll be attacked as they walk the streets of their city. Earlier this week, a man was arrested in Colorado, charged with attempting to blow up a synagogue in Pueblo. Also this week, students at George Washington University made and shared a video in which they advocated violence against Israel and Jews. These are just three of the latest anti-Semitic attacks against our community.
Eighty-one years ago. The hate continues. We must pay attention to it. We must take it seriously. And we must take action against it.
Please follow the ADL and the AJC online. Speak to family (especially our college kids) and friends about anti-Semitism and the need to educate ourselves and take a stand against hate. Don’t be silent. By doing these things, we’ll commemorate Kristallnacht while ensuring that we have the knowledge needed to fight the hate and do our part to prevent the shattering of our Jewish community.