No, Arnie. The U.S. Capitol Riots Were Not Like Kristallnacht.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 15: Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger arrives at Lionsgate Films' "The Expendables 2" premiere on August 15, 2012 in Hollywood, California.
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

This past weekend, Former Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger released a video in which he compared the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol building to Kristallnacht. “I’m very aware of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass. It was a night of rampage against the Jews carried out in 1938 by the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys. Wednesday was the Day of Broken Glass right here in the United States.”

Schwarzenegger also said that “being from Europe, I’ve seen firsthand how things can spin out of control.”

His message was immediately cheered by Democrats, including Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

The fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger is from Austria, or that his father was a Nazi collaborator, does not provide him with the ability to — like so many others before him — rewrite history for political gain. More specifically, to dilute and prostitute the Holocaust in order to attack Republicans.

Kristallnacht is nothing like the riots in Washington D.C. The Night of Broken Glass took place throughout Nazi Germany between the 9th and 10th of November in 1938, with the expressed permission and support of the Nazi government. It was a pogrom which targeted Jews, with attacks carried out by the Sturmabteilung — the Nazi party’s paramilitary wing — and civilians alike. 

30,000 Jewish men were arrested and placed in concentration camps. Hundreds of synagogues were destroyed, and thousands of Jewish businesses were damaged, looted, or destroyed. Historians estimate that hundreds died, either murdered during the attacks or dying from post-arrest mistreatment or suicide. Most see Kristallnacht as the prelude to the implementation of Nazi Germany’s Final Solution, which culminated in the murder of six million Jews and millions of others during the Holocaust.

On January 6th, four rioters and one police officer lost their lives. There were dozens of injuries, and damage was done to US Capitol property, including looting. In other words, while both the riots and Kristallnacht were — in isolation — awful events, to speak as if they are even comparable, let alone synonymous, is as historically ignorant as it is appalling. It should also be noted that many who took part in the riots have been arrested and will face justice. Those who took part in Kristallnacht faced no such thing.

Unfortunately, Schwarzenegger’s shocking accusations are nothing new. “Unhinged” Democrat Rep. Jim Clyburn compared President Trump to Hitler soon after the November election.

Days later, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour compared the supposed “four years of a modern-day assault on those same values by Donald Trump” to Kristallnacht.

Of course, those who wring their hands while warning of a second Holocaust under Trump don’t actually care about its roots. They don’t see the Holocaust as the result of hundreds of years of European anti-Semitism which exists to this day. They also don’t see anti-Semitism itself as a general issue, otherwise they would be just as vocal in their condemnation of open anti-Semites among their ranks.

No, the goal here has nothing to do with history, or hatred, or Jews. Instead, they are playing a very simple game. Hitler and the Nazis are history’s recognizable “bad guys.” Therefore, if anyone can be characterized as such today, they are equally “bad,” including anyone who dares to offer tepid or contextual support for those deemed “like the Nazis.”

Then, the conclusion is obvious. The Nazis were undeniably evil, and the world fought to eradicate them. By banging the drum of hyperbolic historical mischaracterization in order to claim that Nazism exists at the height of American government, the goal is to justify the same today, both for Trump and the millions of ordinary, tolerant, and mainstream Americans who voted for him.

Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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