Tuesday, January 19, 2016

On Sunday 17th January the populist British newspaper the Daily Mail, in an article headed “Terrifying echoes of Kristallnacht,” reported that Burkhard Jung, Mayor of Leipzig,

“has condemned the 'naked violence that took place' after doner kebab fast food restaurants were destroyed, cars were set ablaze and shop windows were smashed by around 250 hooligans of LEGIDA [Leipzig’s branch of the anti-Islam PEGIDA movement].

Readers were informed:
“The rampage in Leipzig evoked memories of the wave of violence against Jews that erupted across Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on November 9, 1938.”
To bolster this nonsensical interpretation of events in Leipzig, more particularly the immigrant neighbourhood of Connewitz where the damage took place, the article contained photos of the “Night of the Broken Glass” pogrom in Germany interposed with photos of damage to shops in Connewitz.

Obviously, the damage in Connewitz was unconscionable and deserving of condemnation, but the comparison of events with Kristallnacht is unjustified, and even somewhat obscene.

The damage in Connewitz was done by rogue hotheads who broke off from the main LEGIDA demonstration in Leipzig, an orderly enough rally protesting the multiple sex assaults on German women by mobs of young male newcomers from North Africa and the Middle East who have brought their culture’s odious misogynistic attitude towards women with them.

The damage on Kristallnacht, immeasurably vaster in its scale, its violence, its wickedness, and its aftermath, was unleashed by SA (Storm Trooper) and Hitler Youth units (many of whom wore civilian clothes to give the impression that it was unplanned) upon the Reich’s Jews by order of Nazi Party officials taking their cue from Goebbels and Heydrich upon a highly assimilated, peaceable and patriotic section of German society for no other reason than that it consisted of Jews. 

To quote a reputable online source (http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005201):
Violence began to erupt in various parts of the Reich throughout the late evening and early morning hours of November 9–10…. Despite the outward appearance of spontaneous violence, and the local cast which the pogrom took on in various regions throughout the Reich, the central orders Heydrich relayed gave specific instructions: the "spontaneous" rioters were to take no measures endangering non-Jewish German life or property; they were not to subject foreigners (even Jewish foreigners) to violence; and they were to remove all synagogue archives prior to vandalizing synagogues and other properties of the Jewish communities, and to transfer that archival material to the Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst, or SD). The orders also indicated that police officials should arrest as many Jews as local jails could hold, preferably young, healthy men.
The rioters destroyed 267 synagogues throughout Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland. Many synagogues burned throughout the night in full view of the public and of local firefighters, who had received orders to intervene only to prevent flames from spreading to nearby buildings. SA and Hitler Youth members across the country shattered the shop windows of an estimated 7,500 Jewish-owned commercial establishments and looted their wares. Jewish cemeteries became a particular object of desecration in many regions.
The pogrom proved especially destructive in Berlin and Vienna, home to the two largest Jewish communities in the German Reich. Mobs of SA men roamed the streets, attacking Jews in their houses and forcing Jews they encountered to perform acts of public humiliation. Although murder did not figure in the central directives, Kristallnacht claimed the lives of at least 91 Jews between 9 and 10 November. Police records of the period document a high number of rapes and of suicides in the aftermath of the violence.
As the pogrom spread, units of the SS and Gestapo (Secret State Police), following Heydrich's instructions, arrested up to 30,000 Jewish males, and transferred most of them from local prisons to Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, and other concentration camps.
Significantly, Kristallnacht marks the first instance in which the Nazi regime incarcerated Jews on a massive scale simply on the basis of their ethnicity. Hundreds died in the camps as a result of the brutal treatment they endured. Most did obtain release over the next three months on the condition that they begin the process of emigration from Germany. Indeed, the effects of Kristallnacht would serve as a spur to the emigration of Jews from Germany in the months to come….’

The Daily Mail nonsense is another brick in that increasingly sturdy edifice which likens today’s so-called “Islamophobia” to historic European antisemitism.

It’s an edifice with very frail foundations, since today’s antipathy towards Muslim immigration on the part of growing numbers of Europeans is due to Islamist violence and the ongoing terror threat, to the extremist statements of certain imams and others justifying wife-beating and calling for the implementation of sharia law in the nations that have taken them in, to the de facto tolerance of polygamy among Muslims by weak and hypocritical Western states, and to displays of aggression and misogyny such as “honour” killings, to the importation (and non-prosecution) of female genital mutilation by some Muslim communities, and the vile assaults on women that were witnessed in Cologne and elsewhere on Christmas Eve.

It is precisely this sort of conduct on the immigrants’ part that feeds the establishment of groups like PEGIDA.  A crystal clear indication of this can be seen in the video dating to early this month  of the launch before press cameras of PEGIDA UK, led by Paul Weston of Liberty GB along with Tommy Robinson and women’s rights advocate Anne-Marie Waters in reaction to the continuing stupor of the political elites towards what may be the most pressing problem confronting Britain and the West in the 21st century.  

In launching their movement Weston, Robinson and Ms Waters are at pains to disavow the “far right” label; they vigorously deny the “racist” epithet; they insist that their movement is one in which “ordinary, decent British people” (as Ms Waters puts it) can demonstrate their concerns regarding the perceived threats to Western democracies, to the Western way of life, and to the equality of women and girls if demographic trends continue as they are.

But they emphasis, too, the presence of numerous “moderate” Muslims in Britain, maintaining that such persons are afraid to speak out against the extremists, and say that they hope that in time their movement will provide those moderates with a vehicle in which to voice their condemnation of extremism and their support for British values.  “We are not spreading hate, we are responding to hate,” stresses Ms Waters with feeling.

Whether you are inclined to love the trio in the video or loathe them, they make some very pertinent points.  I hold no brief for PEGIDA, but please take a look.

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