Kristallnacht 9-10 November 1938


On this day in 1938, Kristallnacht (November pogrom).

On the night of 9/10 November 1938, the state sponsored pogrom known as Kristallnacht erupted against the Jews of Germany and Austria. Hitler Youth, bolstered by the SA and locals, unleashed a night of terror, violence and destruction. Synagogues and schools were wrecked and set ablaze; Jewish businesses and homes had their windows smashed, leaving the streets strewn with glass. Ninety-one Jews were murdered, and 30,000 Jewish men were thrown into concentration camps. After the destruction, the Jewish communities were fined one billion Reichsmarks to pay for the damage! For many Jews, it became clear that they had to leave. With the confiscation of their property and bank accounts, and no longer able to find employment, Jews were forced to sell their businesses and properties far below their market value. Offices were set up to speed Jewish emigration.

After years of official harassment of Jews in Nazi Germany, the state-sanctioned violence of Kristallnacht marked the acceleration of Jewish persecution that would ultimately culminate in the Holocaust.