Parting Glances: 1933 Hate Who? This is 2017

By Charles Alexander

Within months of Adolf Hitler's appointment as Germany's Chancellor in 1933, Nazi S.S. thugs in Berlin stood menacingly in front of Jewish owned businesses.

They held up signs in their grubby, beat-opponents-to-a-pulp hands. Kraft night bei juden! ("Don't buy from Jews!"). Nationwide the Nazi slogan was, "The Jew is our misfortune."

Germany has had a history of Jew-baiting dating to the 16th century. There's an infamous seven-point tract called, "On the Jews and Their Lies." It circulated widely in 1543. It urged...

"...to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians."

Its author was Martin Luther, founder of the Protestant movement. It is, one can say without fear of contradiction, an embarrassment to the many protestant denominations evolved since Luther's time (1483-1586). Many but not all.

In 1935, Nazi Germany decreed the notorious Nuremberg Laws. Jews were made non-status residents with no rights. They were excluded from practicing any medicine, law, or teaching of Aryan citizens (non-Jews).

In 1938, Jewish homes, businesses, synagogues were vandalized, burned, destroyed during the November weekend that lives in lasting infamy as "Kristallnacht." Night of shattered glass. Soon Jews were required to wear yellow stars.

Failure to do so meant death. Soon Jewish property was confiscated. Jews were deported to lice-ridden ghettos.

German city after city was declared, "Judenfrei." Free of Jews. It was hard not to know what was going on. But most Germans looked the other way. Most minded their own business. Shoah, the Holocaust, was underway. "Kraft nicht bei Juden" it visibly began. It ended with six million Jewish deaths.

It's no stretch of imagination to say that for those historians who have documented the history of the holocaust, it can happen again. They see cautions, hints, alarming similarities between times then and now. Trends to take note of. Warnings to watch out for. Especially for LGBT citizens.

Having reviewed as much, it's noted with acute interest that the American Family Association has demanded its 180,000 members boycott Home Depot, Target, Ford Motor Company, Disney World for their generous or inclusive support of the LGBT community.

These AFA boycotts have not as yet been effective. Ford Motor Company has not gone under. Disney World still has popular gay days. And, so far, Home Depot or Target - God Bless them! - have not been affected significantly. (Lesbian shoppers will see to that.)

What's disturbing is that it's all too easy to picture an AFA Bible bully carrying a sign, "Don't Buy from Gays or Gay Supporters!" And, standing theocratic thug to thug with them, Trump, Pence and hate-mongering, rightwing Rebiblicans.

Charles@pridesource.com
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