Merkel’s racism warn­ing on pogrom an­niver­sary

Western Mail - - UK&WORLD NEWS -

CHAN­CEL­LOR An­gela Merkel and Ger­many’s main Jewish leader have warned against tol­er­at­ing mod­ern­day anti-Semitism and racism as they marked the 80th an­niver­sary of the Nazis’ purge of Jewish peo­ple on the in­fa­mous Night of Bro­ken Glass.

On Novem­ber 9, 1938 – known as Kristall­nacht – Jews were ter­rorised through­out Ger­many and Aus­tria.

At least 91 peo­ple were killed, hun­dreds of syn­a­gogues burned down, 7,500 Jewish busi­nesses van­dalised, and up to 30,000 Jewish men ar­rested, many of whom were taken away to con­cen­tra­tion camps.

Twenty years af­ter Ger­many’s de­feat in the First World War and five years af­ter Adolf Hitler took power, state-driven anti-Semitism “made it pos­si­ble for many Ger­mans to live out ha­tred and vi­o­lence”, she said.

“With the Novem­ber pogrom, the road to the Holo­caust was mapped out.”

She spoke in a cer­e­mony at a Ber­lin syn­a­gogue. The head of Ger­many’s Cen­tral Coun­cil of Jews, Josef Schus­ter, said the build­ing was set alight in 1938 and the blaze ex­tin­guished rel­a­tively quickly so it would not en­dan­ger neigh­bour­ing houses.

Mr Schus­ter said that while the Nazis’ SA and SS or­gan­i­sa­tions were re­spon­si­ble for the pogrom, the pop­u­la­tion’s re­ac­tion “gave the Nazis valu­able in­for­ma­tion: barely any­one protested”.

He added that while mod­ern-day at­tacks on Jews, mi­grants and Mus­lims can­not be equated with the crimes of the Nazi era, “I see it as a dis­grace for our coun­try that such things hap­pen in Ger­many in 2018”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.