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Kristallnacht: Night of the Political Hack’s Hyperbole

On Sunday, former Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger posted a video on social media condemning the actions of Trump supporters at the US Capitol Building on January 6th. Not even one minute into the video, Schwarzenegger compares the protests to the infamous Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, of 1938. He continued by inferring the German people who went along with the Nazis were the Republicans of today. Schwarzenegger said this with his sword from the Conan the Barbarian movies in his hand and with emotional background music. This set the stage to cause more unecessary division and to create more apologetics from the Republican party.

For context, Kristallnacht lasted two days. At that time Jews were targeted by Nazi propagandist, Joseph Goebbels, after he encouraged violence when Ernst vom Rath, a German diplomat, was assassinated by a 17-year-old Jewish boy. After the riots were finally over, 30,000 Jews were arrested and were sent to concentration camps, 91 were murdered, and synagogues were burned to the ground across three countries. It didn’t stop there, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum states, “All told, approximately 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses, homes, and schools were plundered… 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.”

Germans pass by the broken shop window of a Jewish-owned business that was destroyed during Kristallnacht.——US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park

What happened on January 6th, is nowhere near what happened on November 9, 1938. Trump supporters didn’t go to destroy the businesses of innocent civilians, places of worship, homes, or commit mass murder based on people’s identity. The message of January 6th was to protest what many believed to be a fraudulent election. More importantly, Trump did not call for violence at any point during his speech.

The statements made by Arnold Schwarzenegger appears to try to win people over by using cheap political points at the expense of a historically persecuted ethnic group, and by standing on a mountaintop of those who died in the Holocaust, and fought in World War 2. This comparison is arbitrarily disingenuous.

We must self-reflect and understand where people may have gone wrong. Peaceful protestors shouldn’t have devolved into violence, vandalize, and/or destroy property. The United States’ political right took the stance of Law and Order, it should remain as such.

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About the Author:

Gabriel E. Montalvo is a second-generation Ecuadorian American living in the progressive stronghold of Queens, NYC. As it might not come as a surprise, he used to believe in Anti-American left-wing/Communistic victimized ideologies, until his high school journalism teacher introduced him to the teachings of Ayn Rand and John Stossel. Gabriel realized he was lied to about the truth of the Democratic Party, with doing more research, found his home in Conservative-Libertarian values, and became a registered Republican at the age of 18. He co-hosts the Empire State Conservatives Podcast, is a writer, the Activism Chairman of the New York Young Republican Club, and a political strategist. Gabriel was also the youngest state chapter Vice-Chairman in the history of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly serving New York for a year and is currently the youngest ever appointed Northeastern Regional Director.


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