News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The start of another Kristallnacht?

The Night of Broken Glass...

On the 9th and 10th of November in 1938, the Gestapo, SS and Hitler Youth descended on the homes and business of Jews across Germany in retaliation for the assassination of a German diplomat by a Jewish radical. When it was over, 91 Jews were murdered and over 25 thousands landed in concentration camps. Known as Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, the event was the first step toward the holocaust.

Damage caused by vandalism at the office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

Photo from Washington Post courtesy of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

According to the Washington Post, at least ten House Democrats have reported death threats, incidents of harassment or vandalism at their home offices over the past week. Hurling bricks through windows has been a favorite tactic. But some of the vandalism has had deadly potential. "A propane gas line at the Charlottesville home of Rep. Tom Perriello's brother was severed Tuesday after a self-identified "tea party" activist posted what he believed to be the Virginia Democrat's address on a Web site and urged opponents to "drop by" to convey their opposition to his yes vote on the health bill," stated the WaPo article.

While far from the heinous violence of the Nazis, the vandalism and death threats by opponents of health care reform against members of congress exercising their constitutional rights is certainly an echo of the ugly sound of breaking glass.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez