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Medieval Gate leading into the city of Frankfurt
Photo by Rhonda Spivak


by Rhonda Spivak, November 9, 2013

In 2010, when I first visited Germany I purchased a  Lonely Planet  guide to Germany (2010) and in my snippits of spare time I have been going back to read sections of it.
I recently came acrosss something in it  which  is ridiculous and offensive regarding Kristallnact. Here's the quote on  p.348:

"Nazi horror escalated on Nov 9 1938  with Kristallnacht. In retaliation for the assassination of a German consular official by a Polish Jew in Paris, synagogues and Jewish cemetaries, properties and businesses across Germany were desecrated  or demolished " [emphasis added].

I have never heard  the suggestion that Kristallnacht was was in retaliation for anything. The Lonely Planet guidebook gives an offensive justification for Kristallnacht, as if somehow this was reasonable retaliation, as if somehow these two events, the assassination of a German consular official and Kristallnacht could be reasonably connected.
Yes there was an assassination of a Nazi in Paris and yes Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda used this as the pretext for an assault on Jews in Germany.
The guidebook however reiterates the Nazi line, which is not only bizarre,  but offensive.
In my next snippet of  spare time, I must write to Lonely Planet and ask them to change this narrative. 
p.s. I also just noted that  my Lonely Planet guidebook ranks Dachau as #11 of  Germany's "Top 25 Experiences"- The subtitle on p. 20 is "Dark Moments in Dachau."
I don't really understand how you can "rank" something like this, and compare it to other tourist attractions in Germany.
But  what caught my eye the most is the fact that  in the summary about Dachau on p. 11 and later at p.113 there is no mention of  Jews at all.  The Lonely Planet narrative  refers to Dachau as a concentration camp and notes that political prisoners were killed there, but there is no mention of Jews whatsoever.
A brief glance at Wikipedia shows that a general esitmate is that over 200,000 prisoners were murdered at Dachau, "of whom two-thirds were political prisoners, including many Catholic priests, and nearly one third were Jews." [emphasis added].


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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.