In remembrance of the Crystal Night


The night between November 9th and 10th 1938 the German National Socialist Party, the Nazis, performed a horrendous national progrom against the Jewish population. About 400 Jews were killed or forced to commit suicide, 20 000 – 30 000 were arrested, the Nazis burned 267 synagogues and more than 7500 shops owned by Jews were destroyed, hence the name The Crystal Night. It has never been established who gave the order, but supposedly it was ordered by Goebbels and Göring. The Crystal Night would  soon lead to the Holocaust where Jews, Gypsies, Socialists, Communists, Union activists, and people who opposed the Nazi regime were tortured and killed or forced to flee.

Yesterday evening here in Malmoe I participated in an event that commemorated this nightmarish tragedy. In Malmoe and other parts of Sweden, but also in the rest of the world, we see how Nazis and Fascists are on the move again. People against people, group against group. Gangsters abuse the situation and run riot. The violence is part of our world. Yesterday evening we gathered on Gustav Adolf Square to oppose this. The artist Gonza introduced the speakers and musicians. The varied group of people, young and old, men and women, Swedes and immigrants alike, lit up the night with torches for peace and understanding. One of the few remaining Jewish survivors from the horrendous night in 1938 held a moving speech which was both scary and led to important afterthought. Another speaker was Lina Myritz from the Asylum group here in Malmoe. She reminded us of the many immigrants who´re forced to hide, about the brutality that they experience from Swedish authorities and authorities in other countries as well. Helena Svantesson from the RFSL talked about the hate crimes aimed at homo sexuals and lesbians, as well as the verbal and physical abuse they still have to suffer on an almost daily basis. It was interesting to listen to the speakers and also to the Danish Jewish Klezmer band Street Klezmer who played traditional klezmer music and sang in Yiddish.  They  performed twice, and the evening ended with people in front of the stage dancing together in a Hora.

To find a better existence we need to see the fellow human being. Yesterday evening’s event won’t save the world, but it helps us reminding us of how small we are in this vast Universe and teach us some humility to combine with our capacity to develop and our various skills. Now I will visit a friend to congratulate for being who she is.


Anders Moberg, Malmoe, Sweden, November 10th 2012

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