Saturday, November 9, 2013

KRISTALLNACHT ~ November 9, 1938

Kristallnacht (literally "Crystal night") or the Night of Broken Glass was an anti-Jewish pogrom in Nazi Germany and Austria on 9 to 10 November 1938. It is also known as Novemberpogrome, Reichskristallnacht, Reichspogromnacht or Pogromnacht in German.

Kristallnacht was triggered by the assassination of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan, a German-born Polish Jew. In a coordinated attack on Jewish people and their property, 99 Jews were murdered and 25,000 to 30,000 were arrested and placed in concentration camps. 267 synagogues were destroyed and thousands of homes and businesses were ransacked. This was done by the Hitler Youth, Gestapo, SS and SA. Kristallnacht also served as a pretext and a means for the wholesale confiscation of firearms from German Jews.

While the assassination of Rath served as a pretext for the attacks, Kristallnacht was part of a broader Nazi policy of antisemitism and persecution of the Jews. Kristallnacht was followed by further economic and political persecutions and is viewed by many historians as the beginning of the Final Solution, leading towards the genocide of the Holocaust.

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