Kristallnacht 80 years later

By Nathan Barton

My apologies to readers and friends, that I overlooked the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Pogromnacht of 09 November 1938, just two days shy of 20 years after the end of the Great War, and one of the incidents in Germany leading up to the Second World War.

See the source imageThe Night of the Broken Glass, 09 November 1938.

The shock of this event is remembered to this day.  Back in the 1980s, and still today, streets that had been the scene of vandalism and looting (seen above in an unknown city) were still recognizable, though no longer housing shops owned and operated by Jews, who are virtually nonexistent in Germany today.

Image result for rheinberg
GelderStrasse im Rheinberg, site of formerly Jewish businesses

According to Hitler’s regime, the attacks were not official or organized or supported by government – but government just “stood aside” from the righteous anger of the German folk. The excuse for what was probably a long-planned nationwide assault was the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris by a Jewish teenager from Poland!

(This sounds very much like the excuse claimed for the attack on an American consulate in Benghazi, which was blamed on some strange little movie.)

However, the importance of the events and actions of Kristallnacht for us today (and especially as lovers of liberty), cannot be denied.  We can and should learn from them.

What can we learn?  Some are obvious, but some may not be so clear.

  1. Do not trust government to do what it claims to do: including keeping the peace and preventing, stopping, or punishing criminal activity.
  2. Do expect that even your good neighbors and customers and business associates can be turned against you with enough government (or other) propaganda.
  3. Be prepared to defend yourself, your family, your property – even from those within your community.
  4. When conditions are ripe, any excuse can be used as a trigger for attacks and violence.
  5. Government does not need to take direct action against those it considers enemies of the state; it can and does work through proxies.

Less obvious?

  1. Look for the signs of approaching trouble, as happened with the new gun laws in Germany.
  2. Government seldom obeys its own laws, even as it seeks to push and punish you into obeying those laws.
  3. Government lies as much to those who support it (and whom it supports) as to those it seeks to attack and destroy.
  4. Plan and prepare for government and neighbors to turn against you.
  5. Have at least a Plan B and Plan C for when they turn against you. And especially when your primary plan depends on someone else – even family and close friends.
  6. Remember that those who turn against you – even attack you verbally or physically – may not be doing so of their own volition. They may be forced to do so.

I am sure our readers can add many more, but think a bit about these.

The entire 1930s era is now 80 years behind us, but we can all find similarities.  I think that most people (at least in the Fifty States and much of Europe and the Commonwealth) think that such behavior is long behind us and only a matter of historical interest. But as events in the Balkans in the 1990s and in Libya and Syria in the last decade should remind us, people are people.

It CAN happen here.  Are you prepared?



About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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2 Responses to Kristallnacht 80 years later

  1. Darkwing says:

    The way that this once great country is divided, by some many isses, it will happen and soon, two to five years. I hope I am wrong.


    • TPOL Nathan says:

      You are probably close.
      Sorry for the delay in posting your comment. Other work and family business caused a two-week hiatus for TPOL.


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