Cliff Mass clarifies controversial Nazi Germany comparison in blog post


University of Washington atmospheric science professor Cliff Mass found himself in hot water this week, following a post on his personal blog, titled “Seattle: A City In Fear Can Be restored ”. In it, he compared Seattle’s violent protesters to the Nazi brown shirts on Kristallnacht.

Mass joined KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson show to respond to recent criticism he has faced, both professionally and on social media, following this blog post.

Crystal Night, known as “Broken Glass Night”, took place in early November 1938 across Nazi Germany. More than 7,000 Jewish businesses, homes and synagogues were looted and destroyed, while 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and transferred to concentration camps.

“Seattle had it (s) Kristallnacht and the photos of what happened over the past few weeks are eerily similar to those from 80 years ago,” the blog read when it posted on Wednesday. evening.

On Friday, Mass explained why he chose to frame the recent Seattle protests through the prism of Kristallnacht.

“For me a very important analogue is what happened in the 1930s,” he said. “You had thugs destroying Jewish businesses, marking Jewish businesses, harassing people, intimidating people, and the general population didn’t say anything. “

Queen Anne assault victim says failed to provoke protesters

“I was just saying that the people who committed the violence were acting like the Brown Shirts,” he added. “Peaceful protesters are good, it’s a protected speech. But it is violence: this is what is wrong.

Shortly after the publication of Mass’s blog, NPR affiliate KNKX announced that it would cease broadcasting Mass’s regular weather segment, saying the post “draws distorted and offensive parallels between protesters and protesters. Nazi brown shirts “and that” it does not reflect who we are and what we stand for at KNKX.

“I spoke to people internally at the radio station – they just freaked out about it,” Mass said. “It was an intense crowd on social media critical of them, and they made the decision almost instantly.”

Mass has since removed the references to Kristallnacht, saying they acted as a “distraction” from his larger point regarding his position on protesters smashing windows of downtown businesses and, in one case, allegedly assaulting a resident of Queen Anne.

“It was only a small part of the blog, and I want people to think about the rest of the blog,” he said. “Some people used that as an excuse; well, I took the excuse off. Let them read the full blog without these sections.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon to 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to podcast here.

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