Stories about Kristallnacht


Kristallnact, also known as the "Night of the Broken Glass," took place on the nights of November 9 - 10, 1938. Jews in Germany and Austria suffered attacks on their businesses, homes, and synagogues. The windows of these buildings were smashed, thus naming the event Kristallnact. Broken glass was scattered throughout the streets

The event that provoked Kristallnact was the assassination of Ernst von Rath, third secretary of the German embassy in Paris, by Hershel Grynszpan, the son of Polish Jewish parents living in Germany

In the two days of Kristallnact, more than 2,000 synagogues were burned, each containing Torahs, prayer books, and bibles. As synagogues burned, fire fighters were ordered to let them burn and were to intervene only if the fires threatened adjacent Aryan properties. Around 7,500 businesses were demolished and looted. Ninety-one Jews were killed. Jewish cemeteries, hospitals, schools, and homes were destroyed. About 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps, which had to be expanded due to the large number of deportees

The cost of the broken glass totaled about $2 million dollars, and any insurance money compensated to the Jews for the damage was confiscated by the Reich. A fine of $400 million dollars was imposed on the Jewish community

On November 15, Jews were barred from schools, given a curfew, and denied access to most public places. All remaining Jewish businesses were taken over by the Reich

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