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Kristallnacht in Brooklyn, 2011

Cars Torched in Brooklyn on Kristllnacht, 2011                                         Kristallnacht Cartoon 1938

November 9th was the 73rd commemoration of Kristallnacht- the ‘night of broken glass’ in Nazi Germany.

In our post on Kristallnacht in 2010, we noted the Nazi paroxysm of hatred towards Germany’s Jews in November, 1938:

Kristallnacht was Nazi retribution for the assassination an anti-Nazi German diplomat Ernest Vom Rath in the Paris by a young Polish Jew, Herschel Grynzspan on November 7th, 1938.  That event was seized upon by Herr Hitler and his Nazi SA and SS thugs to unleash a torrent of ‘spontaneous’ violence. That violence was graphically set against the lurid  flames of  more than 1,000 synagogues torched, several hundred of them destroyed, thousands of Jewish businesses and homes broken into, destroyed  and vandalized.  91 Jewish men were killed, thousands beaten and more than 30,000 dragged off to concentration camps.  Many of the later would never to return to their frightened families, many of whom were to disappear in the Holocaust. Kristallnacht was the prelude to the Final Solution that murdered six million European Jewish men, women and children.

The Connecticut Jewish Ledger has a collection of graphic American cartoons on Kristallnacht -see here.

Fast forward to Kristallnacht, 2011 in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. Along Ocean parkway, several cars parked between Avenues I  and J were torched and vans defaced with “KKK” symbols in a patent antisemitic frenzy.  One intrepid neighbor, Abraham Israel caught the attack on video commented to WCBS-TV :

Exclusive video, obtained by CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis on Friday night, shows the arson spree. Neighbor Solomon Israel took the video and said a closer look shows a clear sign of arson.

“On the middle car that was burning, I saw a red empty can of gas, which obviously made it very obvious that it was a fire lit on purpose,” Israel said.

The Brooklyn Courier reported the mindless, vicious attack on this predominately Syrian Jewish community, “Anti-Semites ‘celebrate’ Kristallnacht in Midwood”:



  Torched Brooklyn Vehicle  11-10-11


                            Defaced Brooklyn Van 11-10-11

A wide swath of Midwood looked like “a war zone” after anti-Semites torched cars and scrawled hate graffiti to mark the gruesome anniversary of Hitler’s infamous blitzkrieg on Jews, Kristallnacht.

Residents awoke to find three cars torched on Ocean Parkway between avenues I and J with swastikas and the letters “KKK” spray-painted in the nearby surroundings on benches and cars.

 “When you drive down the block, it looks like a war zone,” said one resident.

Councilman David Greenfield (D–Borough Park) is offering $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators. [According to WCBS-TV  State Senator Martin Sherman has raised the reward to $2000].

Community leaders denounced the attack and some said that evidence indicated that this was the product of an organized group.

“When you see swastikas in New York City, it’s often a bunch of kids,” said Chaim Deutsch, the founder of the Flatbush Shomrim. “But this one here seems a lot more serious because asides from all the hate stuff, they lit three cars on fire.”

Watch this New York Post video report with Brooklyn councilman, Dov Hikind:



Given that the Ocean Parkway area is inhabited by predominately Syrian Jews, perhaps this was not an ordinary act of juvenile vandals. Rather it could be something more ominous. Could it be this was an attack redolent of Islamic terrorism, terrorism seeking to intimidate these exiles from the tyranny of the Arab Middle East?  Stay tuned for further developments as this story unfolds.

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