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The Night of Broken Glass

The Night of Broken Glass
By J.L. Robb

As I write, it is November 11, Veterans Day. A salute to all veterans, because it is never an easy job.

During wars, you see what most never see; and it is not pretty. What is pretty is the freedom you bring as a gift to others, a freedom for which you risk your life. Many come home, like the shell-shocked soldiers of World War I and World War II, with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome; and the war never ends. Thank you.

How would you have liked to be a veteran May 1, 1945, when U.S. soldiers freed what Jews remained alive at Dachau? It is hard to imagine the sites that awaited the rescuers, and those visions would change the lives of these veterans forever.

Seventy-nine years and two days ago, November 9, 1938, one of the worst days in Jewish history began; and it was not a 24-hour day. It was a 7-year day. In Genesis’ creation story, a day is referred to as yom. Yom is Hebrew for a period of time.

The night that became known as the Night of Broken Glass, or Kristallnacht, was a result of Adolf Hitler and his hatred toward the Jewish people.

The German economy was not good, mostly a result of World War I. Germany’s warmongering ravaged the world, leaving millions dead, millions more wounded and a debt of $80 billion dollars, the dollar-figure the world governments at the
Treaty of Versailles meted out as punishment.

After the war ended in 1918, the Germans and the rest of the world still had to deal with the ravages of Spanish Flu. Times were rough. Then in 1929, the Great Depression brought the world to its financial knees. The resentment among the desperate German people, many losing family to starvation and disease, festered just below the surface as a young, assertive man came upon the scene, Adolf Hitler.

After being imprisoned for trying to overthrow the government, he was finally released and took over where he left off. The sad part is, today we are no longer taught the rest of that story. By the time Hitler was deceased by his own hand, ten million had been slaughtered, mostly Jews.

The Russian Red Army took its revenge against Hitler, who had been an ally; and many Germans were killed in retaliation for Germany’s invasion of Russia. Stalin’s Red Army had orders to kill anything German and they did. Ten million German women were raped at the hands of these soldiers, and more than a million committed suicide to escape their destiny.

This could have been prevented.

When American forces arrived at Dachau Prison Camp May 1, 1945, the soldiers were appalled at their greeting: train car after train car filled with mostly naked, emaciated Jews, stacked in piles of dead bodies, ten high. Of the thirty-thousand freed Jews, American soldiers were astonished that many were still alive, as bones nearly protruded the skin. The Americans were also appalled, because they knew the slaughter did not have to happen. They knew that all the Germans living around the slaughter camps knew what was going on but did nothing.

Hitler had continued to use the poor economy as an opportunity to blame Jews for everything wrong in society, like Nero did with the Christians in Rome; and with the help of German media, it worked well. The masses were brainwashed by the journalists and radio commentators of the day. Sound familiar?

Below are the orders given to the Gestapo at that time:

From Heinrich Müller to all Gestapo offices – transmitted at 11:55 p.m., November 9, 1938:

1) Actions against Jews, especially against their synagogues, will take place throughout the Reich shortly. They are not to be interfered with; however, liaison is to be effected with the Ordnungspolizei to ensure that looting and other significant excesses are suppressed.

2) So far as important archive material exists in synagogues this is to be secured by immediate measures.

3) Preparations are to be made for the arrest of about 20,000 to 30,000 Jews in the Reich. Above all well-to-do Jews are to be selected. Detailed instructions will follow in the course of this night.

4) Should Jews in possession of weapons be encountered in the course of the action, the sharpest measures are to be taken. Verfugungstruppen der SS as well as general SS can be enlisted for all actions. Control of the actions is to be secured in every case through the Gestapo. Looting, larceny etc. is to be prevented in all cases. For securing material, contact is to be established immediately with the responsible SD…leadership. Addendum for Stapo Cologne: In the Cologne synagogue there is especially important material. This is to be secured by the quickest measures in conjunction with SD.

During Kristallnacht, more than two hundred synagogues were burned to the ground and all the windows of Jewish businesses were broken, thus the Night of Broken Glass. As the synagogues burned, German policemen and firemen stood by, doing nothing.

When Islamic jihadists flew aircraft into American buildings September 11, 2001, thousands lost their lives. As we learned after the 9/11 Investigation, the attacks could have been prevented. The U.S. military had Osama bin Laden in their sites in 1996, but the U.S. government decided innocents might be killed and did nothing. As a result of this decision, thousands of innocents did die.

When the U.S. soldiers arrived at Dachau and saw the slaughter, they were justifiably angry. In all the war, they had seen nothing like this. The soldiers killed many of the German guards at the prison camp, even though they surrendered. They then made all the remaining German citizens take a tour of the slaughter houses, just down the streets from their homes. Men and women, dressed in their fancy clothes were filmed passing through the rooms of savaged Jews, crying and distraught. Then the citizens were made to dig trenches and bury the bodies.

How could this have been avoided?

During the 1914-1918 Word War I, Hitler, a loner, joined the German Army and became a messenger. Being a messenger during what became known as trench warfare was one of the Army’s most dangerous jobs. Many messengers were killed on their first attempt.

One night, Hitler was caught, as a British soldier held him in the site of his rifle only a few feet away. Then the Brit lowered his rifle, not wanting to kill the young Hitler. Had he taken care of business, none of the atrocities above would have happened.

Was there a Divine reason that Hitler was not killed? Was there a Divine reason bin Laden wasn’t killed?

God works in mysterious ways, ways that we often have trouble understanding.

As tragic as Hitler’s Germany was, Israel probably would not be a country today had the British soldier shot Hitler that day in World War I. It had been prophesied that Israel would one day be a country again; and for 2,700 years the Jews waited, impatiently, wondering how and when it would happen. The British soldier was not an accident, any more than President Clinton’s dereliction to take care of bin Laden. It is the unweaving mystery of God.

God is speaking of the Jews through to the prophet, Ezekiel, about 2,700 years ago.

“Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind.” Ezekiel 39:28 NIV

Then they will know…

God has spent so many years trying to convince the Jewish people to love Him, to worship Him, to follow the Law and the Messiah that He sent to save them, and us, from ourselves. We can be our worst enemy.

Is there any group of people who has been victimized and hated as much as the world’s Jews?

“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:3

I am convinced that Hitler played a role in the introduction of the last days of which the prophets spoke. He truly changed the world and changed the focus to the coming trials and tribulations. Jesus spoke to his apostles, telling them to pray that they would be spared this coming tribulation.

“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. Malachi 4:1 NIV

There is another war to come, the final war; and it happens in Israel. In that day, most will be veterans for someone; because the entire world will be at war.

God wins in the end.

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