On 9 and 10 November 1938, The ‘Reichskristallnacht’, the Night of Broken Glass, was the outburst of 5 years of indoctrination, violence and propaganda. It was another violent step to the Holocaust, elimination of handicaped people, priests and other unwanted individuals and groups.
The ‘enemy’ was the cement of the dictatorship and the Jewish people were the main, but not the only target. The regime also tested western democracies. Western democracies didn´t protest when Germany introduced anti-Jewish legislation, introduced conscription (16 March 1935), invaded the Rhineland (7 March 1936), annexed Austria (12 March 1938), Czecho-Slovakia (1 October 1938 and March 1939). The regime challenged the rule of law, humanity and sovereignty of European nations step by step. The European democracies did not protest.
Only Switzerland made a formal protest and was not present at the birthday of the Führer on 20 April 1939.
The other democracies and (too) many of their ´intellectuals´failed to understand the character of the modern totalitarian regimes. These regimes rejected the democratic and capitalistic systems, which were based on centuries of humanistic, Christian, economic and intellectual developments.
Both National-Socialism and Communism were new religions and their supporters had the fanaticism, ruthlessness and perseverance of new converts. Because these regimes had no sustainable (economic and democratic) concept they needed enemies to conceal their failure and lack of perspective.
These new religions came not out of the blue, but were founded by intellectuals who attracted people by short term economic successes and an effective propaganda.
The barbarism of National-Socialism and the ‘Reichkristallnacht’ were no internal German affair, but it concerned all European democracies. The burning of books (Communist regimes destroyed books and churches as well) was an early warning, misunderstood, neglected or ignored in 1933.
Nine eleven is not just a German’ affair, bus is also a day of European shame, neglect and ignorance.