9 November 2017   Leave a comment

On 9 November 1938, the Jews of Germany and Austria endured a horrific night, as Nazi-thugs destroyed the windows of their shops and homes.  That night came to be known as Kristallnacht in reference to the sound of broken glass falling to the sidewalks.  That night was not the beginning of the persecution of Jews in Germany–that persecution had begun almost immediately after Hitler was elected Chancellor in 1933.  Even before Kristallnacht, Jews had been deprived of citizenship by the Nuremberg Laws (passed in 1935 and officially known as “Law for the Safeguard of German Blood and German Honor”) and restricted from certain economic activities and participation in Parliamentary elections.  I suspect that most Germans were uncomfortable with each step taken against the Jews, but likely believed that none of those steps would ever lead to the horror of the Holocaust.  The lesson is clear: any step to discriminate on any basis, no matter how small it seems, must be vigorously opposed.  Staying silent only assures that the powerful will interpret the silence as a license for even more stringent steps.

Nuremberg Laws (Originals Held by the US National Archives)  The First Signature is by Adolf Hitler

Rediscovery #: 23039
Job A1 10-185 Nuremburg Laws

Kristallnacht

Rediscovery #: 23039
Job A1 10-185 Nuremburg Laws

 

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait have urged their citizens to leave Lebanon, following Bahrain which issued the same warning on Sunday.  The warning comes after the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his subsequent disappearance in Saudi Arabia.  The Lebanese believe that Hariri is being held under house arrest in Saudi Arabia, as many believe that Saudi Crown Prince Salman holds Hariri responsible for the growth of Iranian influence in Lebanon through its ally Hezbollah.  There is rising concern that Saudi Arabia may be preparing to go to war with Lebanon, but I find that possibility unlikely given that Saudi Arabia already has its hands full in Yemen–Lebanon would be a much more difficult conflict to manage.  Nonetheless, the regional tensions are reaching a fever pitch.

 

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) conference begins on Friday in Da Nang, Vietnam.  US President Trump will meet a number of foreign leaders, and each has a different set of issues with respect to the US.  The Guardian has a nice summary of what to look for as President Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (that meeting should be quite interesting given the hostile relations between the two), and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.  One needs a scorecard for events as complicated as this one.

Posted November 9, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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