engarian (engarian) wrote,

Kristallnacht Remembered

Kristallnacht is a word that resonates with shame down through the years of history. On the night of November 9-10, 1938, organized pogroms occurred throughout Germany specifically targeting Jewish people, businesses and places of religious worship. More than 250 synagogues were burned or destroyed, 7500 Jewish businesses were looted, vandalized or destroyed and almost one hundred Jewish people were killed. It is not unusual in history to have riots or uprisings against one group of people by another. It is not unusual to have violent times where one hundred or more people are lying dead by sunup. What made Kristallnacht infamous, even today, is the fact that this uprising, these murders and this destruction was state sanctioned, state backed, and in many cases carried out by forces representing the elected government.

One of the many burning synagogues throughout Germany
on Kristallnacht.

In this week when we again held elections that could potentially have caused the most powerful political office in the United States to change hands, those elections were, for the most part, peaceful. We held elections that encouraged everybody of legal age to cast their individual vote for the candidate of their personal choice. The people voting were not forced to vote one way or another by gunpoint and they were not kept away from most polling stations by threats of violence. Each voter had their freedom of choice and the elected positions will transfer quietly and peacefully from one person to another if a new person was elected.

Signs such as this existed throughout Nazi-controlled
countries and sometimes still crop up, even now in
'enlightened' times. I hope to never see these again
in my lifetime or yours.

This is unique within world society. This does not happen everywhere. And these freedoms that we take so much for granted are rarely as treasured as they should be. Even though we have a government that sometimes seems to limp along and even though it sometimes seems as if it more resembles a dog chasing its own tail than a panther stalking the best method to solve a problem, we still have a government – an elected government – that tries its best to be a representative government. Is it perfect? Hell no. There are a lot of problems. But despite the problems I'm still proud to be a resident and citizen of the United States of America because in spite of the problems, it's still a pretty good government. And Kristallnacht, which is in the immediate history of my own family, hasn't happened on a nationwide basis in this nation. I hope and I pray that it never will.
Tags: positive thinking, remember

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