81 years ago tonight, the semi-comfortable world that European Jews knew came to an end.
Up until Kristallnacht or the Night of the Broken Glass, the uptick in antisemitism that German Jews had experienced was mostly non-violent. November 9-10, 1938 changed everything. Jewish synagogues, homes, and schools were destroyed. Around 100 German Jews were killed and 30,000 German Jewish men were sent to concentration camps.
Given the current political and social climate that we live in in 2019, I feel like I have to ask if it can happen here, in the United States?
The scary answer is yes. The shootings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and Chabad of Poway in California occurred less than a year apart. In my hometown of New York City, the number of hate crimes against Jewish residents is rising quickly.
I sometimes take for granted that I live in a country that guarantees me the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I also take for granted that I live in one of the most diverse cities in the world.
I wish I could say that I live in a better world that German and European Jews lived in. But I don’t. Antisemitism is still alive and well. Until such day that antisemitism is dead and buried, a small part of me will be concerned that another Kristallnacht can happen here.