BALTIMORE – On the 80th anniversary of the deadly Kristallnacht, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism and Intolerance, called on leaders across the U.S. and around the world to condemn hate speech and the violence that it spurs.
“Kristallnacht or ‘the Night of Broken Glass’ is a painful reminder of what can happen when hate is allowed to flourish. On November 9 and 10, 1938, authorities in Germany, Austria, and what is now the Czech Republic stood by as members of the Jewish community were murdered, and their places of worship, businesses, and homes attacked, in a pogrom that served as a precursor to the Holocaust.
“As we commemorate this fateful anniversary, we remind ourselves what could be when governments foster hate and violence, pitting one citizen against another. It is why we must address the root causes of anti-Semitism and intolerance in our societies.
“Sadly, the scourge of anti-Semitism and bigotry continues today, most recently leading to the tragic loss of life at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Unlike 80 years ago in Germany when the government orchestrated and encouraged such violence, the rampage that targeted Pittsburgh’s Jewish community was broadly condemned as an attack on the entire nation.
“Hate should have no place in our society and all leaders must be held accountable for ending hate in our community by their deeds and words.
“As George Washington wrote in 1790, the ‘government of the United States … gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance … every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.’
“May the memory of those who perished during the Kristallnacht, the victims of the Pittsburgh massacre, and all those victimized because of their faith, be an inspiration for all of us to stand up against hatred in any community.”