Kristallnacht was seventy-eight years ago yesterday. I won’t give a long explanation of Kristallnacht. Here is a photograph from the pogrom.

Window defaced during Kristallnacht

And here is a photograph from yesterday in Philadelphia.

Vandalized window
Credit: Shana Knizhnik

The police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime, according to the Independent. How strange is it that in 2016, a UK newspaper is reporting on anti-Semitism in the United States!

Here is Wellsville, New York yesterday:

Defaced wall
Credit: Brian Quinn

The President-elect isn’t in office yet, but since the anti-Semitism we’ve seen comes from a portion of his supporters, I think it’s fair to demand that he condemn this kind of terrible anti-Semitism promptly and explicitly. I can wait.

I also think the Republican Jewish Coalition should think twice before criticizing the Anti-Defamation League for carrying out its mission and calling out these incidents.

I trust all Americans, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others, can see how frightening and concerning this is.

10 responses to “Kristallnacht?”

  1. FlameCCT

    I’m curious. Why do you presume the antisemitism comes from Trump supporters? Especially as it is Progressives that have been “protesting” with associated shootings, assaults, destruction of property, etc. since Trump was elected.

    I would note that the antisemitism in the USA has come from Progressive Democrats since the late 1800s. Or are we once again falling for the same Progressive propaganda that told us Trump would never win?

    I do agree that President Obama and President Elect Trump should denounce the antisemitism and violent protests.

    1. FlameCCT, I suggest you read Bethany Mandel’s piece in the Forward or the ADL’s primer on the “alt-right” for some background. Or check out some of the messages I myself have received, or tweets like this one. Of course there is anti-Semitism on the left too, if that is your point. But if you’re paying attention you’ll see that there has been a troubling groundswell of anti-Semitism on the right connected with Trump supporters.

      1. FlameCCT

        I read Bethany Mandel’s piece when it first came out.

        My point is simple Progressivism has led to the rise of many hate groups and violence since its inception in the USA whether one calls themselves Democrat, Republican, etc.

        One major problem has been the propensity of Progressives to downplay/ignore the actions of “their” groups while grossly exaggerating (at best) their perceived opposition. We’ve seen how Progressives and the media portrayed the TEA Party as well as #Occupy; more recently BLM and BDS.

        Having been accused by the current government of being a potential home-grown terrorist because I’m a veteran; I have good idea of why people are tired of the constant media pushing Progressive male bovine excrement.

        I understand that some people see a troubling groundswell of potential problem groups however it is hard to take them serious when they constantly accuse everyone of being antisemitic, racist, sexist, homophobic, Basically Progressives have crying “Wolf” for decades. How many times have we heard Republicans called Hitler, burned in effigy, threatened with assault, etc.? For many Americans, minorities included, too many times.

        1. First you said the source of these anti-Semitic incidents might be the left rather than the right, and now if I understand you, you’re saying maybe they’re not anti-Semitic incidents at all, or if they are, it’s okay to ignore them because the left has “cried wolf” in the past. I’m not sure how any of this is a real response to what I posted.

      2. FlameCCT

        Thank you for discussing the issue. I was Independent while in the military and then GOP. I’ve left the GOP because of their leadership being no different than the Dem, mostly Progressive.

        I’ve opposed various forms of Marxism for decades including Progressivism, Communism, Socialism,

        IMHO Progressivism is just Communism with better propaganda.

        1. I think Marxism does not mean what you think it means, or else Progressivism does not mean what you think it means.

  2. Philipp Fölsing

    Dear Ted, I really love your blog on the Lago Agrio conflict. I also agree with you that Donald Trump’s campaign at times was rather disturbing. I am no fan of Trump either (I am also no fan of Hillary Clinton). Nevertheless, your post might suggest that Trump’s election is comparable to one of the most horrible and terrifying crimes in mankind. In my view, to even create such a context is extremely troubling. But you are right: Of course it is necessary to treat the events in Philadelphia and Wellsville as hate crimes. And certainly the president-elect should condemn those crimes better sooner than later.

    Kind regards from Hamburg, Germany


    1. Philipp, thanks for this. I should be clear that what we’re seeing now is no Kristallnacht–it’s graffiti made by hooligans rather than a state-sponsored pogrom.

      I am very interested to read German reactions to references to the Nazis in recent days. The idea is, “Look, take it from us, who experienced the Nazis–this is not the same thing.” That’s fair, and I respect it.

      But I’m also interested in hearing the ideas of another group that lived through the rise of the Nazis, the Jews. What I am hearing is,
      “These are just isolated incidents, but this time feels uniquely scary for us, and the Jews who lived through the Shoah were, by and large, those who perceived what was happening before it was clear.”

      So I agree with your basic point, Philipp, but my own historical memory is shooting up warning flares.

  3. Rick Gundlach

    It’s good that you are reminding people of important historical events, Ted. My own sense is that the small handful of crazies that picked up on Trump’s dog whistle built up the courage to do this vandalism. I wish Hillary hadn’t have focused so much on the identity politics, to the detriment of focusing on economic issues, which Bernie Sanders had.

    On the alt-right, focusing on identity politics breeds this sort of criminal behavior as a reaction by the “nut”-right.

    Not solving economic issues in 1920s Germany was one of the reasons there was 1930s Germany. The parallels are scary.

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