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CULTURE & HERITAGE - Culture & History

JEWISH CULTURE n°263
By Gilberte JACARET


Kristallnacht

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The interior of the Fasanenstrasse Synagogue in Berlin after Kristallnacht


Kristallnacht (German. English: "Crystal Night") was a pogrom against Jews throughout Nazi Germany on 9–10 November 1938, carried out by SA paramilitary forces and German civilians. German authorities looked on without intervening. The name Kristallnacht comes from the shards of broken glass that littered the streets after Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues had their windows smashed.

Estimates of the number of fatalities caused by the pogrom have varied. Early reporting estimated that 91 Jewish people were murdered during the attacks. Modern analysis of German scholarly sources by historians such as Richard J. Evans puts the number much higher. When deaths from post-arrest maltreatment and subsequent suicides are included, the death toll climbs into the hundreds. Additionally, 30,000 were arrested and incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps.

Jewish homes, hospitals, and schools were ransacked, as the attackers demolished buildings with sledgehammers. Over 1,000 synagogues were burned (95 in Vienna alone) and over 7,000 Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged. Martin Gilbert writes that no event in the history of German Jews between 1933 and 1945 was so widely reported as it was happening, and the accounts from the foreign journalists working in Germany sent shock waves around the world. The Times wrote at the time: "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 pretext for the attacks was the assassination of the German diplomat Ernst vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan, a German-born Polish Jew living in Paris. Kristallnacht was followed by additional economic and political persecution of Jews, and is viewed by historians as part of Nazi Germany's broader racial policy, and the beginning of the Final Solution and The Holocaust.



German neo-Nazis publish list of Jewish sites to mark Kristallnacht

Police launch probe into map circulated on Facebook listing 70 Berlin-area synagogues, schools, restaurants and cemeteries
BY AFP November 10, 2016

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Illustrative: A neo-Nazi demonstration in Leipzig, Germany. (CC BY-SA Herder3, Wikimedia Commons)

BERLIN — German police launched an investigation Thursday after the addresses of Jewish institutions were published on Facebook by neo-Nazis, on the anniversary of the 1938 pogroms against Jews.
A map pointing out locations of almost 70 synagogues, Jewish kindergartens, schools, memorials, businesses, restaurants and cemeteries was posted on the Facebook page of a far-right Berlin group, reported Tagesspiegel daily.
The words "Jews among us!" appeared in the Gothic font used by Nazis on the map published on Wednesday, November 9, the day which marks the pogroms known as "Kristallnacht" or the "Night of the Broken Glass."
"A criminal complaint was filed over suspicion of incitement," a police spokeswoman told AFP, adding that Berlin officers were investigating.

An anti-far-right group called MBR, which had spotted the map on Facebook, together with the office of Green lawmaker Volker Beck informed the Jewish institutions listed to warn them of the neo-Nazi post, according to the Tagesspiegel.

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Kristallnacht destruction in Magdeburg, Germany, November 1938 (German Federal Archive/Wikipedia Commons)

The map was a chilling reminder of the lists of Jewish addresses published on the night of the 1938 pogroms.
During attacks of November 9 and 10, Nazi thugs plundered Jewish businesses throughout Germany, torched synagogues and rounded up about 30,000 Jewish men for deportation to concentration camps.