Berlin, Monday November 6th: The Pogrom night (1938) and forms of contemporary antisemitism

We would like again spontaneously to invite you to an open bar evening in Laidak next Monday, in order to discuss about contemporary forms of antisemitism, the importance of memory, the crisis of antifascism and the historical events that took place that night of November in 1938 in nazi Germany and Austria 79 years ago.

Today its a fact, that only a handful of people remember the Pogrom day in Berlin and elsewhere. The commemoration event and the demo in November 9th in Moabit is actually getting smaller and smaller every year. At the same time, various forms of antisemitism (left, right or islamic fundamentalist one) and attempts of historical revisionism are growing all over the place.

The same happens with the number of antisemitic attacks. All over Europe, desecration of Jewish cemeteries, vandalism of Holocaust memorials etc are a daily practice. However this practice is not coming necessarily only from right wing circles but in few cases come also from the anti-imperialist left (for instance in Greece ). Antisionism as antisemitism is something that various left groups share in common. Therefore there is a total absence of the left in such kind of commemorate events like the pogrom night demo in Moabit.

But there is something more that makes the left wing circles to keep a distance from a deeper critique of antisemitism. It is the way they understand ideology and capitalism in general.

Antifascist movement today is also getting weaker and there is a reason for that. Its own strategical limitations. In times of crisis of the communist movements and antagonistic critique of capitalism, it remains a good question how we can overcome it. Antifascism as well the critique of antisemitism are essential for the reappearance of the communist movement.

List of recommended readings before Monday

Moishe Postone “An other german Autumn” :

Moishe Postone “The Dualisms of Capitalist Modernity Reflections on History, the Holocaust, and Antisemitism”

Sergio Bologna Nazism and the Working Class:

Jack Jacobs Jews and leftist politics (a preview here)

A list of antisemitic events:


About the Pogrom night…

79 years already passed from that night of antisemitic terror in 1938, in nazi Germany and Austria known as Kristallnacht from the shards of broken glass that littered the streets after the pogrom or simply known as pogrom night.

The pogrom against Jews throughout Nazi Germany on 9–10 November 1938, carried out by SA paramilitary forces and German civilians.

Estimates of the number of fatalities caused by the pogrom have varied. Early reports estimated that 91 Jewish people were murdered during the attacks. Modern analysis of German scholarly sources by historians such as Richard J. Evans puts the number much higher. When deaths from post-arrest maltreatment and subsequent suicides are included, the death toll climbs into the hundreds. Additionally, 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps.

Jewish homes, hospitals, and schools were ransacked, as the attackers demolished buildings with sledgehammers. Over 1,000 synagogues were burned (95 in Vienna alone) and over 7,000 Jewish businesses were either destroyed or damaged. Martin Gilbert writes that no event in the history of German Jews between 1933 and 1945 was so widely reported as it was happening, and the accounts from the foreign journalists working in Germany sent shock waves around the world. The Times wrote at the time: “No foreign propagandist bent upon blackening Germany before the world could outdo the tale of burnings and beatings, of blackguardly assaults on defenseless and innocent people, which disgraced that country yesterday. (source wikipedia)

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