Remembering the Night of Broken Glass

Published: 9 November 2015

Region: Worldwide

Kristallnacht_1938On this day 77 years ago, mass violence against Jews broke out across Germany. Many were killed. Thousands of Jewish shops in Berlin and throughout Germany were devastated and thousands of windows were broken. That is why 9 November 1938 is known as Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass.

The team behind Get the Trolls Out, a project against antisemitism in the media led by the Media Diversity Institute (MDI), is marking the anniversary of Kristallnacht by mobilising its partners across Europe, publishing articles and cartoons as a reminder to stand up against antisemitism today.

“Unlike those other injustices, our mass media often present the Holocaust in a vacuum, frozen in time, sealed off from today’s antisemitism. People indeed seize the moment to take their swipes, insisting that what Israel does is ‘just as bad’. When asked what purpose Holocaust commemorations serve, politicians and journalists commonly respond, ‘It’s important to know history’ or ‘We mustn’t let the past repeat itself’. But those bromides apply to any bad thing that has ever happened. They don’t explain the specificity of the Holocaust. They factor it out” – wrote Professor Eric Heinze, an adviser to Get the Trolls Out project, for Open Democracy.

Kristallnacht_OnlinenachtTo mark the day when the worst pogrom against Jews started, political cartoonist Polyp has drawn a cartoon comparing the violence on 9 November 1938 with online abuse and antisemitic hate speech that has been present today.

Get the Trolls Out project manager Giulia Dessi will be one of the panellists at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London on 10 November. Panel debate organised by Never Again Ever! will focus on the issue of genocide, modern-day antisemitism, Islamophobia, and anti-migrant xenophobia. Join Never Again Ever and MDI’s Giulia Dessi from 7pm at SAOS.