Who is knocking at your door?

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Surely you have quoted many times Pastor Niemöller’s poem, the one that refers to “now they are coming for me, but yet there is nobody who can raise their voice in my defense”.

These words, touching and extreme politically correct, and sometimes wrongly credited to Bertolt Brecht, reflects very clearly what led to the misnamed Kristallnacht or Night of the Broken Crystals. 

What happened in the night between November 8 and 9 in Germany and Austria was not the falling down of a shelf with crystal glasses but a real pogrom.

Anti-Semitic fury unleashed in the streets fated to damage, wound, rape, kill, arrest, burn, while the forces of order restrain the rage towards  Jewish targets. Police took care  they did not attack gentile properties,  firefighters that the fire did not spread to anything that was not Hebrew and doctors that  the injured were only  circumcised ones.

However, the pogrom was not born that day.

This fact was the sample that the entire previous process of discrimination, dehumanization, delegitimization, propaganda and violence fulfilled its target.  All that damage could not have taken place without slow but planned preparation.

Pastor Niemöller was also a victim of Nazism, but his poem refers to the fact that it was already late because he himself had reacted lately.  Before the  Pogrom, Niemöller also believed Nazi anti-Semitism was justified but not the violence. And many times he referred  having supported Hitler but felt betrayed by him because he had broken the promise about  taking away their rights and  segregating them, although he did assure not going beyond that limit.

No one could claim surprise at the ideas Hitler put into practice because he had been already anticipating them since 1919, relentlessly and repeating them at every occasion.

His “now it’s too late” was not only a self-critic of having been a passive eyewitness but  having shared the genesis of the previous process.

Dear reader, I request you to do your own analysis of conscience and  take some reflection time .

Examine your position vis-a-vis the flow of information you receive every day.

In your opinion, are the good guys always good and the bad always bad?  I clearly understand that if it is so, you always consider yourself among the good ones….

That one who does not agree with you, does he deserve all the unpleasant things  the universe can provide him?

Should majorities define everything that is good?   Or is it essential to take into account what  minorities think and feel?

The pandemic, quarantine, COVID-19, inequalities, economic crises, have not taken out the best in our societies in this past year and a half.

We have not been more supportive or human.

Social networks have contributed to this, generating violent reactions, conspiracy theories and even proposed  solutions other than coexistence in diversity.

Border closures have gone hand in hand together with the search of guilty ones and with the birth of new nationalisms and other isms that do not promote any kind of understandings.

Where are you really standing?

Extremely dangerous would it be to perceive yourself on the side of whom are brooding the snake’s egg.  Serious would it be if you place yourself as the one who believes they have at least some reason but you will not be betrayed.

Difficult it is at the end of your exam  seing yourself as the one who no longer has someone to listen to you because it is late.

They are knocking  our door.  There’s no doubt about it.

But we cannot not to respond at it.  We must be strong. We have to denounce those who sow that kind of hatred before there is no one to rise up over it.

We must learn so as not to repeat.  Decrease the tone of hate speech and weed it out  from the system.

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