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On 85th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, What Happened to ‘Never Again’?

November 10, 2023
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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz lights a candle in memory of the Israelis murdered by Hamas, October 17, 2023.

Friday, 10 November 2023 | Marking the 85th anniversary of the Nazis’ Kristallnacht pogrom on Thursday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz vowed to protect Germany’s Jews amid a “shameful” upsurge in anti-Semitism.

“Essentially, this is about keeping the promise given again and again in the decades since 1945 …, the promise ‘Never again,’” said Scholz as he spoke at a memorial ceremony in a Berlin synagogue that was firebombed last month in the wake of Hamas’s October 7 massacre in the northwestern Negev.

“Every form of anti-Semitism poisons our society. We will not tolerate it,” he said.

Last month, Scholz met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, amid a string of visits to Israel by world leaders in the aftermath of the October 7 terrorist attacks.

“As I said last week in the Bundestag, in hard times, Germany has only one place, and it is alongside Israel,” Scholz said in his public remarks.

“It is very important to say this today here during these difficult times in Israel: Germany’s history and the responsibility it had for the Holocaust requires us to help maintain the security and existence of Israel,” he added.

Netanyahu said the attacks that began on October 7 marked “the worst crimes committed against Jews since the Holocaust.”

“Hamas are the new Nazis, Hamas is ISIS, in some instances worse than Nazis,” charged the premier.

Also last month, two Molotov cocktails were thrown at a Jewish community building in central Berlin as anti-Semitic violence surged across Germany in sympathy with the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

Scholz condemned the attack while visiting Egypt, saying that “we will never accept when attacks are carried out against Jewish institutions.

“It outrages me personally what some of them are shouting and doing, and I am convinced that Germany’s citizens are of the same opinion as me,” said Scholz, referring to celebrations within Germany in support of the terrorist assault on the Negev.

Germany has banned pro-Hamas and most other pro-Palestinian demonstrations of the sort that have been seen across much of Europe and in parts of the US and which often see expressions of anti-Semitism, verbal and otherwise.

Scholz said the protection of Jewish institutions would be increased.

Kristallnacht, the “The Night of Broken Glass,” was a massive assault on Jews that occurred on the night of Novmber 9-10, 1938, in Germany, Austria and the German–occupied region of Czechoslovakia.

For 48 hours, SA and SS paramilitary forces along with the Hitler Youth and German civilians destroyed synagogues and looted and vandalized Jewish businesses, homes and cemeteries.

Approximately 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses, homes and schools were plundered, and at least 91 Jews were murdered. An additional 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps.

Hamas’s October 7, 2023 assault was the worst one-day loss of Jewish life since the Holocaust. Approximately 1,400 people were killed in the cross-border invasion from the Gaza Strip in which Hamas terrorists raped, tortured and butchered men, women and children in nearby Israeli communities.

In the four weeks following the massacre, German police registered some 2,000 anti-Semitic incidents linked to the war against Hamas. In response, authorities have moved to boost security around Jewish institutions.

“Israel has the right to defend itself against the barbaric terror of Hamas,” Scholz reiterated on Thursday while restating his government’s commitment to ensure the release of the approximately 240 people taken to Gaza as hostages.

The captives include at least 18 German citizens.

Posted on November 10, 2023

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on November 9, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Source: JNS

Photo Credit: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90/