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GERMANY Painful, joyful memories collide on 75th Kristallnacht, 28th German reunification anniversaries
The 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of the Broken Glass, regarded as the start of t

November 9, 2013 - NULL

GERMANY Painful, joyful memories collide on 75th Kristallnacht, 28th German reunification anniversaries
The 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of the Broken Glass, regarded as the start of the Holocaust, falls on the 23rd anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. On Nov 9 thousands of solemn Kristallnacht commemorations will take place in Germany and around the world. It could be argued neo-Nazi hate crimes are helping to prevent Kristallnacht from fading into history and being quashed on Nov 9 by joyful, still-fresh and still relevant memories of the Wall coming down, the start of reunification. The

GERMANY Painful, joyful memories collide on 75th Kristallnacht, 28th German reunification anniversaries
The 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of the Broken Glass, regarded as the start of the Holocaust, falls on the 23rd anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. On Nov 9 thousands of solemn Kristallnacht commemorations will take place in Germany and around the world. It could be argued neo-Nazi hate crimes are helping to prevent Kristallnacht from fading into history and being quashed on Nov 9 by joyful, still-fresh and still relevant memories of the Wall coming down, the start of reunification. The milestone anniversary invites soul-searching and could trigger anti-Semitic attacks in Germany and elsewhere.

On 8-9 Nov 1938, German Nazis burned or otherwise damaged some 1,000 synagogues, rioters ransacked and looted about 7,500 Jewish businesses, killed at least 91 Jews, and vandalized Jewish hospitals, homes, schools, and cemeteries. Some 30,000 Jewish males aged 16 to 60 were arrested and the concentration camps at Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen were expanded to accommodate the new prisoners.

Officials have warned that the neo-Nazi scene is becoming more violent and the number of reported anti-Semitic crimes are on the rise. On the 65th Kristallnacht anniversary a police raid in foiled a neo-Nazi plot to bomb the inauguration of a Munich synagogue on. The group had allegedly planned to blow up the synagogue during the ceremony. The Guardian newspaper, which reported the plot, noted that there were some 10,000 incidents involving neo-Nazis recorded in 2002. In 2009, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder led thousands of Germans on a march from prewar Berlin's main synagogue to the Brandenburg Gate to protest hate crimes and attacks. AP reported that the national protest, one of many planned across Germany, was described as a focal point of the outrage against a rising wave of neo-Nazi hate crimes, the worst since a surge of violence just after German reunification in 1990. A bomb attack in Duesseldorf injured 10 immigrants, six of them Jews.

The reunification drama began 28 years after the Berlin Wall was constructed when the Communist leadership in East Germany announced that the free travel across the divide. On 9 Nov 1989, people chipped away at the wall during the night, eventually demolishing it. (WRITTEN NOV 2012)

RELATED READING:

Kristallnacht (Encyclopedia Britannica)

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/323626/Kristallnacht

Recalling History on a Day of Light and Darkness (NYT 9 Nov 2010)

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/10/world/europe/10germany.html

Raid foils neo-Nazi 'Kristallnacht' plot (Guardian 15 Sep 2003)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/sep/16/thefarright.germany

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Date written/update: 2013-11-09