I was reminded by a friend on Facebook that today November 9, 2018, is the 80th anniversary of the Kristallnacht, “the night of glass” in which Jewish homes, businesses, synagogues and gatherings were vandalised, butchered and razed to the ground in Germany and the Greater Third Reich.
It was a pogrom in which people were attacked, beaten, thrown into concentration camps (under “protective custody”) or killed if you walked the streets or sat in your home holding a personal religious or political belief.
If people think it can never happen again I remind them of Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, the Caucasus, Sudan, Syria and Ukraine these past 20 years. And I remind them of China and The United States of America today.
Freedom of speech, the freedom to think, is the most sacred right a human holds.
It means you have the ability to respond to those who voice opposition to you. It also means that the speech of others is protected so long as your rights are not infringed upon: the right to freedom from fear paramount among them.
“Never again”, the voices said after the Holocaust that began that November 9, 1938. Yet, here we are today witnessing our very democracies at home, school and work stifling expression in ways the Third Reich would have been proud.
So search for a documentary or article on the Kristallnacht today and relive for a moment that callous time. For those, whether Fascist or Anti-Fascist who forget history, will always repeat it.
© 2018 Adam Parker.
Main picture credit: Courtesy Wikipedia, Fair use licence.