Learning from history can prevent repeating mistakes today. Regrettably, too few seem to be able to connect the past with the present.

Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi / Unsplash

Eighty-four years ago, the Nazi's unleashed the 'night of broken glass' on Germany's Jewish population.

Kristallnacht was characterised by vandalism and destruction of Jewish owned businesses, homes and synagogues.

German officials claimed it was a spontaneous uprising of citizens but it had the explicit endorsement of the Nazi hierarchy.

Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels said:

"the Führer has decided that … demonstrations should not be prepared or organized by the Party, but insofar as they erupt spontaneously, they are not to be hampered."

It was more a direction than a statement.

In reflecting on these historic events, I am struck by how we can see some similarities with what's happening today in Western democratic nations.

Antisemitism is certainly on the rise but so is violence and abuse directed toward those of asian and anglo heritage.

This is most notable in the United States but can also be easily observed in Europe and Australia.

In the US, the attacks have been fuelled by the claims of black disadvantage being caused by systemic oppression and racism. When groups like BLM suggested blacks were being unjustly killed by whites, they ignored the reality that most black people murdered are actually killed by other black people.

Instead, they tried to blame police and 'society' rather than the actions of individuals.

In doing so, they seem to have fostered a false grievance narrative leading to many of these attacks.

That incitement led to widespread looting and riots, sometimes of black owned businesses, and an air of lawlessness in many American cities. The video footage of race based attacks and senseless violence in places like New York are appalling.

Unfortunately, the authorities in these mostly Democrat led cities refuse to act. In some cases, Democratic political figures have virtually encouraged the civil unrest.


It's a modern day version of the appalling events of eight decades ago.

The Jews are also being targeted in Europe with anti-semitic attacks up by 75% in places like France.

In most of the West now we also see selective policing of offences based on racial profiling of offenders.

Perhaps most notable was the appalling sexual abuse of children by a group of muslim men in Rotherham, England. The crimes, despite being widely known went unpunished for years for fears of causing a 'race scandal'.


While these matters may seem confined to other nations we have similar issues in our own country.

Some of our politicians seem willing to make excuses for crimes based on the ethnicity or culture of the offender.

In doing so, they leave the catastrophic problems evident in some communities virtually untouched.

When the state (and their representatives) applies different law and order standards according to the identity of the citizen, we are entering very dangerous territory.

That so many remain silent in the face of this growing injustice, demonstrates how few have learned from history.

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