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Swastikas in Germany on Eve of Kristallnacht

Shades of the past: Anti-Semites smeared swastikas on a new German synagogue two days before the anniversary of the Nazi pogram on Kristallnacht.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/9/2009, 4:07 PM / Last Update: 11/9/2009, 4:19 PM

Anti-Semites sprayed swastikas on a new synagogue in Dresden, Germany, two days before ceremonies recalling the Nazi-era burning of 267 Jewish synagogues in the country 71 years ago on what is known as Kristallnacht. The term is the German word for the “night of broken glass.”

 

The swastikas, illegal in modern Germany, were found on one wall of the new building Sunday morning, and police are investigating.

 

Kristallanacht in 1938 was marked by Nazi troops rounding up and deporting approximately 30,000 Jews to concentration camps and murdering 100 others. This year, ceremonies marking Kristallnacht are being overshadowed by celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years on the anniversary of the Nazi pogrom.

 

A local official said in response to the vandalism, “We will not allow such things to happen.” However, Jewish groups report that anti-Semitism, often couched in anti-Zionism, has been rampant throughout Germany as well as the rest of Europe since the end of the Nazi era.

 

A study for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs noted several years ago that in Germany, “There are no effective, large-scale activities against anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, and the majority of Germans would not support them. Although certain individuals and organizations try to put the problem on the agenda, this is much more cosmetics than a successful strategy.”

 

The report, authored by Susanne Urban, stated that “resolutions by the German parliament to reject anti-Semitism…are ineffective actions…presented to the world as a strong defense against the charge of anti-Semitism.