OPINION / These days we commemorate the 85th anniversary of the terrible anti-Jewish pogrom known as Kristallnacht. On the night of November 9-10, 1938, the Nazis murdered 100 Jews, burned nearly 300 synagogues, looted over 7,000 Jewish shops, and imprisoned 30,000 people in concentration camps because of their Jewish origin. Jews were forced to clean up the ruins of destroyed buildings and insurance companies were not allowed to pay them compensation. Synagogues were also burned in the Nazi-occupied Sudetenland, in Ústí nad Labem, Liberec, Jablonec nad Nisou, Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně, Opava and other places.
The pretext for this terrible event was the assassination of Ernst von Rath, the secretary of the German embassy in Paris, committed by the Jewish youth Herschel Grynszpan. This violence was not just some marginal isolated act, but the beginning of targeted brutal terror against a population group. People were persecuted and deprived of all rights just because they were Jews. At any time, Jews could have their property confiscated, deported to camps, and even killed. This inhumane anti-Semitism eventually culminated in the Holocaust with millions dead.
We wanted to believe that humanity is learning from these horrors, but recently the opposite has been shown. Gunmen of the Islamist terrorist organization Hamas invaded Israel from the Gaza Strip, where they murdered 1,400 people, including women and children, just because they were Jewish. We must not tolerate such a thing. Injustice must be clearly pointed out and dealt with. It is not normal for people to be killed because of their nationality, race, religion, etc.
I am therefore glad that our country is on Israel’s side, that Prime Minister Petr Fiala publicly supported the Jewish state at a demonstration in Prague, that the Czech Republic voted against the resolution damaging Israel at the UN. There are times when politicians must make their convictions clear and take a firm stand against evil. An example can be British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who shortly after taking office made it clear that he would not negotiate with Hitler and his gang, but that Great Britain would beat Nazi Germany in the air, at sea and on land. Compromises with criminals do not pay.
The author is a Central Bohemian regional representative for the ODS.