CNN's Christiane Amanpour likens Donald Trump presidency to Nazi pogrom Kristallnacht, forced to apologize

'Hitler and his evils stand alone, of course, in history. I regret any pain my statement may have caused,' said Amanpour

CNN's Christiane Amanpour likens Donald Trump presidency to Nazi pogrom Kristallnacht, forced to apologize
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CNN’s Christiane Amanpour was forced to apologize after she faced backlash for comparing President Donald Trump's 4-year term to Kristallnacht, which was infamously an attack on Jews in Nazi Germany often seen as a precursor to the Holocaust. 

During her nightly interview program last Thursday, November 12, Amanpour said the anti-Jewish attack, which was carried out on November 9 to 10, 1938, was an assault on "fact, knowledge, history and truth," and that the Trump administration was much like the modern-day Kristallnacht on similar values. "After four years of a modern-day assault on those same values by Donald Trump, the Biden-Harris team pledges a return to normal," Amanpour said last week.

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The American Jewish Committee’s CEO, David Harris, condemned Amanpour's remarks, taking offense at the fact that the news host it was odd that Amanpour didn’t mention that the Nazi’s targets that night were Jews. Bringing up Kristallnacht represented a "misuse of history," he said, although he did acknowledge the fact that she was entitled to her own opinion on the show. 

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On Monday, November 16, Amanpour apologized for any pain she might have caused through her remarks. "And finally tonight, a comment on my program at the end of last week. I observed the 82nd anniversary of Kristallnacht, as I often do – it is the event that began the horrors of the Holocaust," she said. "I also noted President Trump’s attacks on history, facts, knowledge, and truth. I should not have juxtaposed the two thoughts," she continued. "Hitler and his evils stand alone, of course, in history. I regret any pain my statement may have caused. My point was to say how democracy can potentially slip away, and how we must always zealously guard our democratic values." 

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Kristallnacht, which is also known as the Night of Broken Glass, or the November Pogrom(s), was a pogrom against Jews carried out by Sturmabteilung paramilitary forces and civilians throughout Nazi Germany. The name Kristallnacht ("Crystal Night") originated from the shards of broken glass that littered the streets after Jewish-owned stores, buildings and synagogues were destroyed and their windows were smashed. Rioters destroyed 267 synagogues throughout Germany, Austria and the Sudetenland. Over 7,000 Jewish businesses were damaged or destroyed, and 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps. Early reports estimated that 91 Jews had been murdered.

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The Times of London observed on 11 November 1938: "No foreign propagandist bent upon blackening Germany before the world could outdo the tale of burnings and beatings, of blackguardly assaults on defenseless and innocent people, which disgraced that country yesterday." The assassination of the German diplomat Ernst vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan, a 17-year-old German-born Polish Jew living in Paris, formed the pretext for the attacks. Historians have suggested that Kristallnacht was a prelude to the Final Solution and the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust.

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The US ambassador to Germany reported at the time, "In view of this being a totalitarian state a surprising characteristic of the situation here is the intensity and scope among German citizens of condemnation of the recent happenings against Jews."

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