Kristallnacht: Also known as The Night of the Broken Glass. On this night, November 9, 1938, almost 200 synagogues were destroyed, over 8,000
Jewish shops were sacked and looted, and tens of thousands of Jews were removed to concentration camps.
Back in the late 1920's and through the 1930's the National Socialist German Workers' Party embalked on a campaign of monstrous proprtions.
Back in the 20's, Germany was a broken nation. They had lost the first world war, their economy was ruined, their military smashed and stripped bare.
The people of that country needed a focus. They needed someone to blame and some clever, twisted bigots decided to use that to their own ends.
Through propaganda, carefully placed words, outright lies and fear mongering a public was manipulated and people began to take their frustration out
on the Jews. Immigration, financial corruption, religious beliefs and all manner of other issues/practices were cited. Lies were repeated until they
became "truth". Eventually a whole society lost its collective conscience, dropped into a state of apathy and then the country turned into a cesspit
of hate and people stood by as despicable things began to happen, and those things then snowballed into genocide.
I wasn't alive during those times - I'm fairly sure its unlikely that anyone reading this was, but I am a student of history - particularly the
second world war era, and recent events have made me sit up, take notice, and have made my skin crawl.
You see - its happening again. Albeit in different circumstances.
"Turn the middle east to glass"
"Send them home"
"They aren't like us, they have no place being here"
"A good muslim is a dead muslim"
"All they want to do is take our jobs/take our women/kill us"
"They're all the same"
Such things seem to be becoming commonplace on blogs, on facebook and other social media, on some news programs and even here on ATS.
Our society is losing its humanity again.
Yes, I understand 9/11 (although most people here think it was an inside job it seems). I understand Al Qaeda. I understand ISIS. I understand the
middle east situation. I understand the paranoia and the fear of things that may seem different.
I understand that there are people out there in the world who wish to do others harm, under the guise of a perversion of a religion. I get that. I
don't want to see those people in my world. I have no problem whatsoever with the armed forces of any nation being used to bring cold blooded killers
to justice. None at all.
But those people do not represent all
muslims - despite what some of the carefully crafted fear mongering propaganda out there will try and
You know the kind I mean. The propaganda akin to that the Nazi's used about the Jews in the 30's.
The kind that makes people out to be sub-human.
The kind that makes all kinds of assertions about motives.
The kind that deliberately tries to set up differences.
The kind that seizeson the comments of an extremist and tries to make out its a common view.
The kind that singles out one section of society and tries to make out that it is responsible for every kind of problem imagineable.
The kind that picks up on individual issues and tries to make out that all people see it that way.
The kind that gets spread virally on social media out of ignorance, fear and malice. The propaganda du jour.
The kind that leads people to begin to casually accept it.
The kind that leeches and seeps into collective conciousness.
The kind that leads to "reprisals", to witch hunts, to forced segregation, to the wearing of symbols, to tattoo's, to ghetto's to camps to gas
Hopefully it won't get that far.
If we, as "responsible" nations in the west wish to take the high ground, to confront the extremists and the killers, to bring them to justice, to
prevent the spread of their brand of hatred (which is, I believe, a worthy cause) then we have to be better as a society
as well as being
We have to understand that the actions of a few do not represent the actions of the many
- and lets be clear on this - there are 1.6 billion
muslims on the planet and all but a very small percentage of those people live a peacful existence.
We have to be better. We have to resist the temptation to slide into the cesspit.
We have to avoid another Kristallnacht.