Letters: Nazis are history, but toxic hatreds live on

These letters were published in The Independent on Friday 8th November


On 9 and 10 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.

Seventy-five 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

Emeritus Professor Frank Land, 1939 refugee and Kristallnacht witness

Ralph Land CBE, 1939 refugee and Kristallacht witness 
Lord (Alf) Dubs

Margaret Hodge MP

David Winnick MP 

Edie Friedman, Executive Director, Jewish Council for Racial Equality
Gerry Gable, Editor Searchlight Magazine

Rabbi Barbara Borts

Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah

Dr Ros Merkin, Writer & Director of Suitcase 1938

Sheila Melzak, Clinical Director, Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile

Dr Jennifer Langer, Director, Exiled Writers Ink

Judge Laurence Brass, Treasurer, Board of Deputies of British Jews

Morris Farhi OBE

Miriam Margolyes OBE

Bernard Kops, playwright and poet

Michael Rosen, broadcaster and poet

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

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

Jack Dove

Norma Dove

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

Goodman Stuart

Carry Gorney

Dr Claudia Gould Hertzmann

Jeremy Green

Prof Colin Green

Grahame Gross

Sue Gutteridge

Michele Hanson

Belle Harris

Lisa Hatton

Rosamine Hayeem

Mike Heiser

Ruth Hendrick

Alain Hertzmann

Prof Susan Himmelweit

Dr Deborah Hirshfield

David Hoffman

Justin Hoffmann

Claire Jackson

Riva Joffe

Dr Hannah Jones

Dan Judelson

Ann Jungman

Anne Karpf

Thena Kendall

David King

Susan King

Dr Brian Klug

Prof Francesca 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

Rogaly Ben

Prof Jacqueline Rose

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

Wooldridge Shireen

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

John Speyer, Director, Music in Detention

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

Myra Woolfson

Dr Karen Worth

Binnie Yeates

Prof Nira Yuval-Davis, Director, Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging, UEL

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