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November 9 and 10 mark the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht or Night of Glass. On those terrible nights the Jews of Germany were subjected to a brutal pogrom that resulted in the destruction of synagogues, shops, beatings, murders and deportations. Kristallnacht was Hitler’s diabolically grand celebration of hatred, the beginning of the end of European Jewry that would become the morally twisted industrialization of mass murder, adapting to this end the deadly efficiencies of the assembly line.

Metaphisically, every one of us was there on those cold, awful nights of 1938. Are we not, each of us, of the human species? Do not the actions of one,  stain the conscience of all? Each of us both victim and murderer, sufferer and abuser. The traumatized and the guilty walk together. The dead and the living in one long procession. History and destiny laid out like an unwanted map un-scrolling. Dark and foretelling what was that still is.

(To main theme from “Schindler’s List” motion picture music soundtrack (1993) by John Williams)

Even as we walk together
Talk together now.
Even as we smile together.
We were there, and we remember
Horrors all too possible somehow.
Even as we walk together now.

On a cold and dark November
Night of Broken Glass.
When the night-screams never ended
And a darkness, soon descended.
Darkness that could never seem to pass.

Even as we walk together now.
Even as we walk together now.

Lyric © 2016 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

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