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Kristallnacht- The Night of Broken Glass

Page history last edited by alice 13 years, 9 months ago



This image displays the burning of a synagogue on the night of Kristallnacht.

Kristallnacht was a night of violence and restrictions for targeted victims including Jewish people, gypsies, and many others.  During the night, synagogues were burnt down with no interference from firefighters. Hitler's followers disregarded suggestions given on how to run the pogrom and terrorized the innocent. They burnt the holy Torah, forced Jewish people to become publicly humiliated, and all  the while, pretended it was a normal reaction to the events that had happened over the last couple of days. Because this occured, nobody realized the potential power Hitler had- enough to take over all of Europe  and try for more- to them it was a civil and rational way to react to a death. What lasted for one night became week-long, month-long, even year long, until people faced such hatred that it took away their lives. Kristallnacht was an epic event caused by Ernst vom Rath;This was an excuse for Nazis and other followers of Hitler to escalate violence and racial discrimination of Kristallnacht.


How It Started

Herschel Grynzpan, a seventeen year old Polish Jew, shot Ernst vom Rath on the seventh. On November ninth, he died("Kristallnacht: A Nationwide Pogrom, November 9-10, 1938,"  2). The murder was an outbreak of rage toward the Axis Powers, specifically all who worked for Hitler, because a number of Polish Jews, including Grynzypan's parents, were rounded up and taken to a refugee camp("Kristallnacht: A Nationwide Pogrom, November 9-10,1938, 2). On November 9, 1938,, the anniversary of Beer Hall Putsch was observed by the German Nazi Party, also marking Ernst vom Rath's death("Kristallnacht: A Nationwide Pogrom, November 9-10, 1938," 2). Joseph Goebbels initiated the pogrom with a speech that released the "spontaneous outbreak of public reaction" and caused the violence of Kristallnacht to occur. Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Security Police, sent an urgent telegram with Kristallnacht instructions("Kristallnacht: A Nationwide Pogrom, November 9- 10, 1938," 2). A survivor conveyed, "It began with a loud banging and the sound of broken glass." ("Prelude to the Holocaust,"7).





 This picture depicts  the smashing of glass in Jewish- owned businesses.






Victims/Protection For Victims

People of the Aryan race were kept protected simply because of what they looked like.


There was little anyone could do to interfere with the unfair treatment and racial discrimination of Kristallnacht. What they could do, they did for children they sympathized with. Children between one month and two years old received nothing to eat for two days("Kristallnacht: A Nationwide Pogrom, November 9- 10, 1938," 2). Kindertransport  was a rescue program for targeted Jewish children who had been living in Europe in 1938 and 1939, rescuing a total of 10,000 victimized children("Kindertransport,"3).Adults were left with most of the struggles-debts of $400 million United States dollars placed unrightfully on them- to name just one("Kristallnacht: A Nationwide Pogrom, November 9- 10, 1938, 2). Even a German leader saw the wrong in this: Hermann Goring stated that the German government should be paying the insurance that they were  robbing Jewish businesses of("Kristallnacht: A Nationwide Pogrom , November 9- 10, 1938," 2)."Some few individuals attempted to provide aid and support to the victims of the riots..."("2008 Days of Remembrance",5).


A Jewish star of David shows obvious signs of vandalism from Nazis- the swatiska symbol.

Enjoy a video featurng a true survivor by folllowing this link:


Type in the following: " Kristallnacht Susan Taube"






People Involved

German leaders were waiting for an excuse to launch Kristallnacht.The Storm Troopers, Hitler Youth, Third Reich and Nazi Party displayed all the wrong reasons for targeting innocent victims during November ninth and tenth("Kristallnacht: A Nationwide Pogrom, November 9-10, 1938," 2). They acted as if it was a perfectly rational reaction to the choas of Ernst vom Rath's murder. Police were told not to interfere, and laughed when Jewish victims called for help(" I asked for help.The police asked if it was a Jewish house- then left us to the mob," 1). Firefighters did not provide any merciful intervention as they watched Jewish-owned buildings go up in flames; they only stepped in when a nearby building caught fire("Kristallnacht: A Nationwide Pogrom, November 9-10, 1938," 2). Bold members of the British Parliament took a stand against the rising power of Hitler and funded Krindertransport('Kindertransport," 3). "When I was growing up, the life was different. People were caring and people cared about each other...Now everything is gone." ("History Life Stories",6).






Works Cited

Germany Kristallnacht. 1938. AP Images. Web. 11 May 2010. <http://apimages.ap.org>. 9

Germany Kristallnacht. 1998. AP Images. Web. 11 May 2010. <http://apimages.ap.org>. 11

Gledhill, Ruth. “’I asked for help. The police asked if it was a Jewish house-then left us  to the mob.’” The Times(United Kingdom) 8 Nov. 2008: 39. EBSCO host. Web. 3 May 2010. <http://ebscohost.com>. 1

“Kindertransport.” Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2010. <http://go.grolier.com>. 3

“Kristallnacht.” daylife.com. Nashoba Puublishing Online, Mar. 2010. Web. 6 May 2010. <http://daylife.com>. 4

“Kristallnacht: A Nationwide Pogrom, November 9-10,1938.” www.ushmm.org. N.p., 1 Apr. 2010. Web. 3 May 2010. <http://ushmm.org>. 2

Shuter, Jane. Prelude to the Holocaust. Chicago, Illinois: Reed Educational and Professional Publishing, 2003. Print. 7

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. History Life Stories. 2008. PDF file. 6

United States Holocaust memorial Museum. “History Life Stories.” ushmm.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2010. <http://ushmm.org>. 5

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Survivors Remember Kristallnacht: Susan(StraussE) Taube. You Tube. N.p., 21 Nov. 2008. Web. 9 May 2010. <http://youtube.com>. 8



Comments (2)

Tigger said

at 3:25 pm on May 17, 2010

I like the table of contents. Mine doesn't work :(

Mickey said

at 8:27 pm on May 19, 2010

The title is awesomee!

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