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Remember, remember the NINTH of NOVEMBER

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Remember, remember the NINTH of NOVEMBER

Post by Tony Bennett on 09.11.12 9:10

Remember, remember, the NINTH of November

We have just remembered the Gunpowder Plot, on 5th November. And quite right too, it was a terrible evil that was planned, and we were fortunate the plot was discovered at the eleventh hour.

But arguably we should also remember, or rather commemorate, one of the most appalling single days in European history:

Kristallnacht.

It was on ninth November 1938 that, in a single night, the Nazis perpetrated the following atrocities, all within a space of 15 hours:

* 96 Jews were killed

* around 30,000 Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps

* 177 Jewish synagogues were destroyed, 76 demolished, and a further 101 burnt to the ground

* 7,500 shops and businesses owned by Jews were systematically destroyed, pillaged and looted

* many Jewish cemeteries were destroyed

* many Jewish schools and homes were destroyed.


It came to be known as ‘Kristallnacht’ because broken glass littered the streets of German cities.

The Nazis had carefully planned this international outrage for months, if not longer. All it needed was an event which would justify this carnage.

It came when a Polish Jew, Herschel Grynszpan, shot dead - on 7 November 1938 - Ernst vom Rath, a high-ranking German official in the German Embassy in Paris.

The Nazis falsely claimed that Kristallnacht was ‘the German people’s spontaneous response to this ‘act of Jewish terrorism’.’

Grynszpan was eventually arrested by the Nazis, but after two attempts to put him on trial, convict him and execute him, they failed.

Ernst von Rath, in common with many members of the Nazi hierarchy, was a homosexual. And he liked teenage boys. Grynszpan, at the age of 17, was a male prostitute. As partial payment for his sexual services, Grynszpan extracted a priceless promise from von Rath: to preserve his parents from a new Nazi law which had revoked the citizenship of Polish Jews who had been living abroad for over 5 years and still retained Polish citizenship.

But von Rath broke his promise. Grynszpan was to learn that his parents had been rounded up, with thousands of others, in the dead of winter and sub-zero temperatures, and herded into a concentration camp at Zbonszyn on the German-Polish border. In retaliation, he shot von Rath dead.

The Gestapo found and arrested Grynszpan in 1940.

Ernst von Rath was a German hero. He was given a full state funeral; Adolf Hitler led the mourners. But days before the trial of Grynszpan, it was cancelled on the personal orders of The Leader.

Grynszpan’s lawyers, Hitler learned, would expose the fact that von Rath was the serial user of the sexual services of teenage boys, and moreover would expose the full extent of homosexuality amongst the Nazi elite.

Grynszpan was spared - at least for a while.

He subsequently ‘disappeared’.



[ ETA: The ninth of November may also come to be remembered as the day the McCanns' co-ordinating lawyer, Edward Smethurst, opened his first pub in Norden, Rochdale ]

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Re: Remember, remember the NINTH of NOVEMBER

Post by PeterMac on 09.11.12 9:23

And Thursday 9th November 1989 was the day the Berlin Wall came down.
I was there. Ich bin ein Mauerspechte.
(Actually the Friday, for the sake of historical accuracy !!)

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Freedom-seekers

Post by Tony Bennett on 09.11.12 9:31

@PeterMac wrote:And Thursday 9th November 1989 was the day the Berlin Wall came down.
I was there. Ich bin ein Mauerspechte.
(Actually the Friday, for the sake of historical accuracy !!)
What a day that must have been! I visited Berlin for a few days three years ago, and what a city it is for reminders of past glories and tragedies of German history. As well as seeing what is left of the Berlin Wall, we visited the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen (northern part of the city), a grim reminder of the extent one man can act inhumanly to another. Worth reading: 'The Berlin Wall, 13 August 1961 to 9 November 1989' by Frederick Taylor; surely the saddest part of the book is reading the many tragic accounts of those who tried to escape the evils of the East German regime, but were shot or otherwise perished in their valiant attempts to find freedom

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Re: Remember, remember the NINTH of NOVEMBER

Post by PeterMac on 09.11.12 9:38

Morning Tony,
I went back to Berlin a few years ago and couldn't find my way round !
The centre has moved back to Stadtmitte, the wall has gone, apart from some historic relics, KuDamm is now a dump, and so on.
And they have even turned the quadriga on the Brandenburg Gate round to face the correct way.
Very strange feeling.

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Re: Remember, remember the NINTH of NOVEMBER

Post by Tony Bennett on 09.11.12 10:17

@PeterMac wrote:Morning Tony,
I went back to Berlin a few years ago and couldn't find my way round !
The centre has moved back to Stadtmitte, the wall has gone, apart from some historic relics, KuDamm is now a dump, and so on.
And they have even turned the quadriga on the Brandenburg Gate round to face the correct way.
Very strange feeling.
One of the sights of Berlin, west of centre, is a huge monument to famous German war victories - a huge pillar that celebrates their victory in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1.

There aren't any others...

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Re: Remember, remember the NINTH of NOVEMBER

Post by PeterMac on 09.11.12 10:47

try also
http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/text/france.html

It used to open automatically when you typed in "French Military Victories" but they stopped it.

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