Greetings all –
November 9, 1938 is known as the Night of Broken Glass – Kristallnacht – when Nazi antisemitism went from laws and edicts of persecution and pockets of aggression to a full scale frenzy of tormenting, vandalizing, attacking, harassing, arresting, and terrorizing Jewish German citizens. Covert hatred went overt and thus Kristallnacht is often marked as the beginning of the Shoah.
It is still unfathomable to me that the Holocaust took place during modern times. For our young folks it will seem like eons ago but in the scope of humans on this planet it really is very very very recent history. How was it possible that a country went insane and many other countries went insane along side it? How is it possible that we did not bomb the train tracks to Auschwitz, how is it possible that 1.5 million Jewish children were exterminated in the name of racial hygiene and progress and nationalism?
How is it possible that so many remained silent? How is it possible that so many looked the other way? How is it possible that so many PARTICIPATED and COLLABORATED? How is it possible that some did resist? How is it possible that some did rebel? How is it possible that some did protect, hide, and do the right thing at great personal peril and the peril of their own little ones?
And how is it possible that the survivors – survived to love again?
This is the thing that has always amazed me – this ability to love and not hate in the face of such great inhumanity, overwhelming injustice, crushing and debilitating evil.
So on this anniversary of such a blot on our existence on this planet – we must remember so we never forget and so when world leaders try to deny the truth and facts, it is they who are proven to be crazy and not the righteous and the good and the true. And we must remember the Deaf and CODA Jews who perished in the Shoah and those who survived.
Imagine urself being a Jewish Deaf child in Germany on November 9, 1938. What did you see, what did you understand, how could ANYONE help u make sense of this when it was such a senseless thing?
Think of David Bloch who was rounded up and sent to Dachau – only later to be able to exit to Shanghai, China (the port of last resort for many European Jews), which was later invaded by Japan.
Think of Ingelore H. who suffered increased hostilities at her non-Jewish Deaf school when the glass was shattered and was sent off home on the train alone to watch burned buildings and shattered storefronts as she moved across the landscape only to arrive to a bordered up doorfront and her father detained at Dachau.
Think of Doris F. who saw more and more German Jews coming to her town and how she worried aloud to a teacher “will there be war in Poland” to which the teacher replied “oh dont be foolish.” No one believed it would ever get that bad and that big.Think of Doris hiding anywhere anyway in the ghetto, in the camp, and in a chicken coop.
Think of CODA Elizabeth D. and her Deaf mother being torn from her and then being informed her mother would be coming out of the chimney soon. Think of the form the Nazis made Elizabeth sign to “volunteer” to be experimented on in Block 10 of Auschwitz.
Think of the fear, think of the terror, think of the hopelessness, think of the hate.
There are more stories. There are more lives that were forever altered and more lives that were forever ended and more lives that were forever prevented from materializing.
We don’t like to think about it – but we must. For if we do not, then we and thee will not know what came before and will not see the signs of genocide in time.
Never again we say. Today and tomorrow so that there will be a today and a tomorrow for all of us.
For video interviews and text summaries of Deaf and CODA survivors of the Shoah go to:
click VIDEOS and click Deaf Survivors
May the glass never be shattered in hate again.