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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Deja vu.

I was involved in a conversation on the "cartoon riots" when a gentleman in the group compared what is going on today with "die Reichskrystallnacht" of 1938. For those that don't know what Krystall Nacht was, here is a refresher. I was intrigued by his analogy so I went back and did a little reading of my own. That refresher, triggered memories of stories I was told when we lived in Germany (Mr. Logician was stationed there when we were first married). We lived and worked among many Germans who lived through WWII and they were quite willing to tell the inquisitive Americans their side of the story.

Reading the Wikipedia entry, I was struck with a sobering sense of deja vu. Under the pretense of an "offense" *(in this case the murder of a member of the Reich) rioters rampaged through-out Germany - destroying Jewish shops, homes, synagogues and cemetaries. Jews were beaten to death by the rioters. The attacks were intended to look spontaneous, but they were actually ochestrated by the Nazi government!

Fast forward almost 70 years to today. Under the pretense of an "offense" Muslim rioters rampage through the streets of Syria, Lebanon and European cities. Embassies are burned (Austrian, Danish and Norwegian), tourists kidnapped and a Roman Catholic church attacked. The attacks looked spontaneous, but where (as this author asks) "did they get all of those Danish flags to burn?" A question that he does not directly ask is "why did it take so long (remember these cartoons were initially published back in October) for these 'spontaneous' riots to happen?" Couple these incidents with statements released recently by the new President of Iran where he stated that the Holocaust never happened and that Israel has no right to exist with statements made by the Nazi Regime. Even current German Chancelor Merkle has made the connection.

Let's go back in time again to 1938. In the days following Krystall Nacht the world reacted in horror and outrage. Yet they did nothing. Krystall Nacht ushered in a new era of anti-Semetic activities from the German government. Will the Muslim governments in Syria and Lebanon follow suit (in the form of anti-Western behavior)? If they do, what will the world do? Will the world move in unison to stop this anti-social behavior or will they simply speak platitudes (as they did in WWI) and do nothing?

Have we learned nothing from our recent history? Or are we doomed to repeat it?


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