Kristallnacht, also called the Night of Broken Glass took place Nov. 9 and 10, 1938 throughout Nazi Germany and Austria. With sledgehammers, ransacking and fire burning, civilian and paramilitary forces destroyed synagogues, buildings and Jewish owned businesses, leaving ruins. Many thousands of Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps that night. German authorities did nothing to stop the assault. It is thought by scholars to be the official prelude to the Holocaust. But hatred doesn’t happen overnight.
In spite of lessons learned from the Holocaust, hatred towards Jews remains in countries throughout the world. Tribes have been warring since the beginning of time and Jews have been hated for centuries. And just like the bully who claims the victim brought it on themselves, the mantra of a deeply engrained undercurrent of anti-semitism has been as follows: There must be a reason. Jews are poised to take over the world. Jews are money grubbers and power grabbers who will take a mile if given an inch. As with most racial and religious discrimination, these biases find their way into our language. “He jewed him down” is an expression so common, many people who use it don’t even realize its inherent degradation of a whole people.