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75 years after Kristallnacht: minorities in danger

Jews in Britain sound the alarm about rising hostility towards migrants, asylum seekers, Gypsies and travellers.

Daily Mail, Saturday 20 August 1938

On 9th/10th November 1938, Nazi stormtroopers led a wave of violent attacks on Jewish people and property throughout Germany and Austria, which the Nazis had annexed. During these pogroms, 91 Jews were killed, thousands were taken from their homes and incarcerated in concentration camps, 267 synagogues were destroyed, and some 7,500 Jewish-owned shops were smashed and looted. The Kristallnacht pogroms presaged attempts to remove Jews from German life completely.

Many Jews left hurriedly to seek refuge in friendly countries, including Britain, but Britain was already in the grip of an “aliens scare”. Newspaper headlines declared: “Alien Jews Pouring In”, and claimed that “Refugees Get Jobs, Britons Get Dole”. The media accused Jewish asylum seekers of “over-running the country”. Despite wide public revulsion at the violence of Kristallnacht, powerful elements in British politics and business continued to admire Hitler and the Nazi regime.

75 years after Kristallnacht, racists and fascists inspired by the Nazis continue to attack minorities in Europe. In Hungary neo-fascists target Gypsies and Jews. In Greece Golden Dawn members and supporters brutally attack migrants and political opponents. Here in Britain, minority communities, especially Muslims, have been targeted in an atmosphere that is increasingly hostile towards migrants and refugees.

As Jewish people mindful of this history, we are equally alarmed at continuing fascist violence and the toxic sentiments expressed by many politicians and much of the media against migrants, asylum seekers, Gypsies and travellers.
We stand shoulder to shoulder with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in their efforts to live here in freedom and safety, to contribute to society, and be treated as equals. As Jews we stand together with all communities seeking to combat racism and fascism here and elsewhere.

David Rosenberg, Jewish Socialist magazine
Prof Frank Land, 1939 refugee and Kristallnacht witness
Ralph Land CBE, 1939 refugee and Kristallnacht witness
Sheila Melzak, Clinical Director, Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile
Dr Jennifer Langer, Director, Exiled Writers Ink
John Speyer, Director, Music In Detention
Margaret Hodge MP
David Winnick MP
Lord (Alf) Dubs
Edie Friedman, Executive Director, Jewish Council for Racial Equality
Gerry Gable, Editor, Searchlight Magazine
Prof Nira Yuval-Davis, Director, Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees  and Belonging, UEL
Prof Jacqueline Rose
Prof Francesca Klug OBE, Director of the Human Rights Futures Project
Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah
Rabbi Barbara Borts
Rabbi Howard Cooper
Judge Laurence Brass, Treasurer, Board of Deputies of British Jews
Miriam Margolyes OBE
Moris Farhi MBE
Anne Karpf, journalist
Bernard Kops, playwright and poet
Michael Rosen, broadcaster and poet
Michele Hanson, writer
Dr Ros Merkin, Writer & Director of Suitcase 1938
Benjamin Abeles, rescued by the  Kindertransport in 1939
John Abraham
Ruth Abraham
Karen Adler
Rochelle Allebes
Ruth Appleton, Santé Project
Martha Jean Baker
Julia Bard
Zelda Bard
Jacob Bard-Rosenberg
Reuben Bard-Rosenberg
Mark Barnes
Ruth Barnett
George Barratt, Councillor, Barking  & Dagenham
Larry Beckreck
N G Benjamin
Sarah Benton
Mike Berlin
Shelley Berlowitz
Jo Bird
Rica Bird
Prof Haim Bresheeth
Lorna Brunstein
Barry Buitekant
Lionel Burman
Mandy Carr
Prof Andrew Coleman
Paul Collins
Ilana Cravitz
Judith Cravitz
Ivor Dembina
Prof Elizabeth Dore
Jack Dove
Norma Dove
Ora Dresner
Kjersti Dybvig
Prof Barbara Einhorn
Maggie Eisner
Antony Ellman
Michael Ellman
Judith Emanuel
Naomi Feldman
Rayah Feldman
Prof Robert Fine
Neil Finer
Sylvia Finzi
Frank Fisher
Nick Foster
Ann Frankel
Raymond Freeman
Melissa Friedberg
Carolyn Gelenter
Mike Gerber
Dr Ben Gidley
Stuart Goodman
Carry Gorney
Dr Claudia Gould Hertzmann
Jeremy Green
Prof Colin Green
Grahame Gross
Sue Gutteridge
Belle Harris
Lisa Hatton
Rosamine Hayeem
Mike Heiser
Ruth Hendrick
Alain Hertzmann
Prof Susan Himmelweit
Dr Deborah Hirshfield
David Hoffman
Justin Hoffman
Claire Jackson
Riva Joffe
Dr Hannah Jones
Dan Judelson
Ann Jungman
Thena Kendall
David King
Susan King
Dr Brian Klug
Tony Klug
Erica Kops
Sarah Kosminsky
Marion Kozak
Stevie Krayer
Caroline Kubilius
Richard Kuper
Vivi Lachs
Jude Lancet
David Landau
Jon Lansman
Sheila Lassman
Antony Lerman
Karl Lewcowicz
Vivien Lichtenstein
Hope Liebersohn
Marian Liebmann
Prof Yosefa Loshitzky
Sue Lukes
Ruth Lukom
Simon Lynn
Ilana Machover
Moshé Machover
Diana Maiden
Paul Mayersberg
Karen Merkel
Jane Merkin, Executive Producer,  Suitcase 1938
Paul Morrison
Miriam Moss
Annie Nehmad
Diana Neslen
Esther Neslen
Michael Newman
Paul Oestreicher
Margaret Owen OBE
Dr Daniel Ozarow
Gail Pearce
Helen Pearson
Mike Peters
Rob Porteous
Charlie Pottins
Dr Claudia Prestel
Marsha Ragsdell
Ros Raizada
Roland Rance
Daniel Randall
Norman Randall
Ronne Randall
Jerome Ravetz
Dr Esti Rimmer
Brian Robinson
Ben Rogaly 
Prof Jonathan Rosenhead
Leon Rosselson
Michael Sackin
Jenny Salaman Manson
Raf Salkie
Prof Andrew Samuels
Ian Saville
Prof Joy Schaverien
Karel Schling, child of holocaust  survivors
Monika Schwartz
Mike Scott, Trustee, Nottingham  and Notts Refugee Forum
Amanda Sebestyen
Lynne Segal
Prof Victor Jeleniewski Seidler
Sam Semoff
Barry Semp
Linda Shampan
Myrna Shaw
Polina Shepherd
Nicole Sherrick
Dr Jackie Shimshon
Shireen Wooldridge
Prof Avi Shlaim
Alan Silver
Evelyn Silver
Liz Silver, Notts Disabled People’s Movement
Clifford Singer
Juliet Singer
Laurence Singer
Ray Sirotkin
Barry Smerin
Sue Smith
Ben Soffa
Catharine Claire Stewart
Jennie Stoller
Monica Stoppleman
Judith Suissa
Vivien Sunlight
Inbar Tamari
Ruth Tenne
Gil Toffell
Niki Tragen
Eva Turner, child of holocaust  survivors
Lesley Urbach
Dan Usiskin
Dr Nadia Valman
Ida Waksberg
Rafael Waksberg
Adrienne Wallman
Miri Weingarten
Pnina Werbner
Barbara White
Myra Woolfson
Dr Karen Worth
Binnie Yeates

 


 

This Statement was drawn up by Jewish Socialist magazine BM3725 London WC1N 3XX

 


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