Commemorating Kristallnacht


November 9-10 marks the 75th anniversary of “Kristallnacht.” The word Kristallnacht means “Night of Broken Glass” in German. It refers to the night Nazi storm troopers descended on Jewish owned shops throughout Germany and Austria. They smashed glass storefronts; burned down Jewish homes, synagogues and businesses; beat and murdered Jews in the streets; and began hauling them to concentration camps. Included among the victims were Messianic Jews. Both civilians and soldiers then looted the Jews’ properties.

Kristallnacht marks the beginning of Hitler’s Final Solution. Until then, despite years of anti-Semitic doctrine and propaganda, there had been very little Nazi violence against the Jewish people. Today, many Jews view Kristallnacht as the point at which rhetoric suddenly became reality—and it became clear the world would do nothing to help them.

“Though weeping may endure for a night, joy comes in the morning” (see Psalm 30:5). Seventy-five years ago, a very long night of weeping fell upon much of the world, especially that of European Jewry. But at dawn came Israel, a reborn Jewish state. Sadly, many Israelis today hear foreboding echoes of another coming Kristallnacht.

Some Christians allege that Israel and her Christian allies play “a Holocaust guilt card.” But those who know history know this is not a card game. Over 1,500 years of murderous Christian anti-Semitism reflect a devilish spiritual dynamic to be prayerfully withstood in Word and deed. The issue is not guilt over the past. The issue is learning from history so we need not repeat it. What’s at stake is the destiny not just of Israel, but the Church and all humanity.

You may want to support (using wisdom) a Kristallnacht commemoration in your local synagogue, as the Lord leads. You might also email a short, encouraging note to PM Netanyahu or other Israeli officials and organizations. May love cover a multitude of sins!