Anniversary of Kristallnacht prompts reflection on Modern Anti-Semitism

The+number+of+people+in+the+world+who+still+hold+highly+negative+views+toward+the+Jewish+community+is+significant.+This+makes+it+more+important+than+ever+to+speak+up+and+inform+in+order+to+help+the+defamation.++

Emily Goldstein ’23

The number of people in the world who still hold highly negative views toward the Jewish community is significant. This makes it more important than ever to speak up and inform in order to help the defamation.

Emily Goldstein ’23, Paper Features Editor

Nazis burned synagogues to the ground, Jewish homes and businesses were vandalized and thousands of Jews were arrested or killed on November 9, 1938, . Kristallnacht or “The Night of Broken Glass” marks the unofficial premiere of organized violence against Jews leading to the Final Solution during the Holocaust. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2021, was the 83rd anniversary since these acts of hatred. It is important to commemorate all that was lost and work to educate the public on the fact that anti-Semitism is still largely integrated into today’s society. 

Both of my great grandparents survived the Holocaust against horrifying odds and emigrated to America.  Shortly after, my grandmother was born in a displaced person’s camp. Fortunately, this was my family’s story of survival. However, the reality is that many other families were destroyed due to the violence and hatred inflicted during the Holocaust. 

According to Statistica, there were 2,024 anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2020 which was an increase from 2019. When broken down this consisted of 1,242 harassment incidents, 751 vandalism incidents and 31 direct assault incidents where victims were targeted with physical violence.   ”

— Emily Goldstein ’23

As the Holocaust falls further from recent memory, many people forget that not only did it have such a devastating impact on the Jewish population, but it also kick-started an ongoing battle that Jewish people face with anti-Semitism even to this day.

According to a nationwide survey taken by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), over the past 25 years, 11%-14% of Americans harbor anti-Semitic views. Additionally, 35% of people do not know the Holocaust even existed. These numbers are exceedingly high and I believe that, as someone who is well educated about the Holocaust, I have failed to use my voice to inform others. The main solution for emitting anti-Semitism that is rooted into society is by informing those who are uneducated. 

According to Statistica, there were 2,024 anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2020 which was an increase from 2019. When broken down this consisted of 1,242 harassment incidents, 751 vandalism incidents and 31 direct assault incidents where victims were targeted with physical violence.   

The lives impacted and destroyed by anti-Semitism from Kristallnacht to present day are not forgotten. It is extremely important to remember whose lives were taken and memorialize as a community. 

Furthermore, it is important for marginalized minorities such as the Jewish community to never give up. The anniversary of Kristallnacht was just one opportunity to remember and bring light to the deaths that were taken in the Holocaust. The fight for an anti-Semitic free world will not stop until everyone knows that there is a fight worth fighting for.