Merkel warns against anti-Semitism on 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht

Merkel warns against anti-Semitism on 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht
© Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke against the dangers of anti-Semitism on Friday at a Jewish synagogue in Berlin marking the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, a night of anti-Jewish terror carried out during the early days of Nazi Germany.

The Associated Press reports that Merkel spoke at the Rykestrasse synagogue in Berlin, where she warned against leaders who offer "simple" solutions to complex problems.


“Today, we are living once again in a time of far-reaching change,” Merkel said, according to the AP. “In such times, there is always a particularly great danger of those who react with supposedly simple answers gaining support.”

“We are commemorating today with the promise that we will set ourselves strongly against attacks on our open and plural society,” the German chancellor continued. “We are commemorating in the knowledge that watching as lines are crossed and crimes are committed ultimately means going along with them.”

Kristallnact, also known as the "Night of Broken Glass," was a night of anti-Jewish terrorism and violence that resulted in hundreds of synagogues and Jewish businesses being burned or damaged, while many Jewish citizens were assaulted, killed or sent to concentration camps.

Much of the violence was driven by the German government's Nazi SS and other organizations, which Merkel said Friday “made it possible for many Germans to live out long-held resentments, to live out hatred and violence."

“With the November pogrom, the road to the Holocaust was mapped out," she added.

Earlier this year neo-Nazis marched in Berlin and were met with hundreds of protesters resulting in clashes that injured one police officer.