When did the Berlin Wall Came Tumbling Down? November 9, 1989.
When was Kristallnacht? November 9, 1938.

On this day Nov 9th in 1938 the Nazis coordinated vicious pogroms against the Jewish community of Germany. These pogroms, which collectively came to be known as Kristallnacht (“night of broken glass,” referring to the thousands of windows that were broken) were a turning point after which Nazi anti-Jewish policy intensified.

The Hidden Hand

images.jpgJudaism teaches that events large and small are guided by a hidden Hand. They don't just happen randomly; there are no coincidences. If two otherwise seemingly unconnected historical events take place on a common date it should give one pause and evoke questions about a possible deeper meaning.

Kristallnacht and the breaching of the Berlin Wall are at first glance strange historical bedfellows. And who but a true prophet can claim to have deciphered the Divine implications. Nevertheless, perhaps one of them is that the national soul of those who perpetrated the Holocaust — including Germans, East Berliners and Eastern bloc countries (who often were willing collaborators in the atrocities) — experienced a small taste of the suffering they inflicted by having to endure long decades of life under the boot of the brutal Soviet Communist regime. Like Jews walled inside ghettos across Europe in the 1940s, they experienced life cut off from freedom with little hope of escape, living in constant fear of arrest, and standing helpless against a stream of humiliations and atrocities that happened to them and their families.

When the Berlin Wall came tumbling down it ended 28 years of imprisonment and thus marked the beginning of a return to normalcy, a return to freedom. Yet by happening on the date it did it served as a reminder that there is a Hidden Hand in events reminding humanity of its responsibility to safeguard freedom, champion the cause of the defenseless and disavow the ideologies and forces that created the likes of a Kristallnacht in the first place.