Samstag, 9. November 2013
On the night of 9 November 1938, all Germany was in turmoil – Jews were attacked and mistreated, synagogues were set on fire, and Jewish-owned businesses were looted and destroyed. But neither the police nor the fire brigade intervened – on the contrary, police and Nazi gangs stood by and watched or joined in. This night brought it home to the entire world that the anti-Jewish campaign had reached a terrible climax. The Jews were to be driven from Germany once and for all. They were completely at the mercy of the state and their fellow citizens.
The persecution of Jews in Germany had begun in 1933. People were called upon to stop shopping in Jewish stores, and Jews had their freedom of movement in public curtailed. The so-called “Race Laws” of 1935 stipulated that the Jews no longer had full rights as state citizens.
It was a night of horror: ninety-one Jewish men and women were murdered, and many thousands were mistreated, arrested and dragged off to concentration camps. One hundred and ninety-one synagogues were burnt down and 76 destroyed.
Even now, November 9 is a day to remind ourselves that we must all be on the alert so that exclusion, intolerance, hate and violence do not have a chance.
Tanja Hebenstreit / Christiane Toyka-Seid