Friday, November 9, 2007

69 years ago today. And today.


On the nights of November 9-10, 1938, the Nazi state perpetrated a pogrom called Kristallnacht--the Night of Broken Glass. Thousands of Jewish Temples were burned to ashes, dozens of people were killed, thousands beaten and arrested and tortured. Millions were terrorized. Goering eventually sent a bill of over a billion marks to the German Jewish community--the cost of cleaning up the damage. The world stood by.

Yesterday our government confirmed the nomination of a new Attorney General who won't admit that filling a victim's lungs up with water and drowning them is torture. (That's what waterboarding is, not some "dunk the clown" game in a carnival.) And the leading Republican candidate claims he understands the torture of sleep deprivation because he is deprived of sleep while on the campaign circuit.

Like Heinrich Heine said about book-burning, "Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings," a government that tortures enemies will eventually torture its own.

2 comments:

dawife said...

Pretty surprised that there were no articles in yesterday's NYTimes on Kristallnacht. Did a search on their online site and there were no recent mentions. More important to write about a small town in Kansas' winning football team (above the fold, too).

T said...

that is unfortunately true.