Yuval David
Filmmaker, Director, Actor, News Commentator, Activist and Advocate

What are you doing on this anniversary of Kristallnacht?

It is the anniversary of “Kristallnacht.”

On the night of November 9, 1938, violent anti-Jewish demonstrations broke out across Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia.  Nazi officials depicted the riots as justified reactions to the assassination of German foreign official Ernst vom Rath, who had been shot two days earlier by Herschel Grynszpan, a 17-year old Polish Jew distraught over the forced deportation of his family from Germany and the antisemitic attacks that were rampant and sanctioned by the Nazis and their supporters.

Sparked by anti-Semitic sermons and doctrines from Nazi officials, for the next two days, violent mobs destroyed hundreds of synagogues, burning and desecrating Jewish religious artifacts, heirlooms and belongings of Jews, and Jewish buildings and businesses.  On orders from Gestapo headquarters, the police and firefighters did nothing to prevent the carnage and destruction.

Almost 8,000 Jewish-owned businesses, homes, and schools were plundered.  Over 100 Jews were murdered.  30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps.  Nazi officials immediately claimed that the Jews themselves were to blame for the riots, and a fine of One Billion Reichsmarks (about $400 Million at 1938 rates) was imposed on the German Jewish community.

The Nazis prized the night and called the brutal riots Kristallnacht (meaning “crystal night” or “the night of broken glass”), referring to the thousands of shattered windows that littered the streets afterwards.  This name does not convey the horrific brutality of the situation.  Kristallnacht proved to the Third Reich that they were victorious, empowered by massive support of the mobs and other citizens.  They took the anti-Semitic rhetoric and legislation and turned it into violent actions, and the aggressive anti-Jewish process that lead to the Holocaust.

Hatred and malice of the Nazis and their anti-Semitic supporters shifted world history.  Acts of violence against Jews continued to be justified by the othering, victimization, and marginalization of the Jewish people.  From 1938-1945, the Nazis and their collaborators killed 2 out of every 3 Jews.

What are you doing to remember Jewish people who were bullied, tortured, and killed?  What are you doing to protect Jews today?  What are you doing to stop antisemitism and prevent its accelerated rise today?

Our Jewish people have seen what happens when others remain silent while we are attacked. So, will you be a bystander or an upstander?  Will you fuel the hate or extinguish the hate?

Learn the lessons from the past.  Stop the mob, do not join the mob.  Fight for life not for death.

As a grandchild of Holocaust survivors and survivors of anti-Jewish attacks, I stand tall, raise my voice, and take action.

Am Israel Chai.

About the Author
Yuval David is an Emmy-Award winning actor, director, and filmmaker who has won over 100 international film festival awards, and has played roles in shows and productions with ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, Hulu, FX, HBO, Comedy Central, Disney, and Sony, including “Feud,” “Madam Secretary,” “What Would You Do,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Michael J Fox Show,” “Days of Our Lives,” and many others. One of his newest shows will air on FX and Hulu at the end of this year. He appears on broadcast news programs in the US, Israel, and internationally as a news commentator and writes articles for international publications [including i24 News, Fox, NBC, CBS, Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, Out Magazine, and many online news platforms]. He is an active leader in Israeli, American, and international Jewish communities, focusing on causes pertaining to Jewish, Zionist, LGBTQ, civil rights, and social justice. Yuval collaborates with national and global organizations as a speaker, advisor, workshop leader, and creates film and social media content with them. Yuval advises dozens of governmental and non-governmental organizations. Yuval meets with political leaders in the US, Israel, and internationally, advocating for Jewish and LGBTQ causes. He also works to represent and help rescue LGBTQ people out of dangerous and life threatening situations internationally, primarily from countries that follow sharia law. His goal to entertain, uplift, and inspire guides his creative work and his social and political activism, as he motivates people within the pursuit of greater representation, inclusion, acceptance, and celebration of self and community identity. Yuval is active across social media, including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn. You can view more on Yuval and his work at these links below:
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