top of page

Kristallnacht 9 - 10 November  1938

Kristallnacht is the name given to the acts of violence that took place on the night of 9 to 10 November 1938 in various places in Germany and Austria , then under Nazi rule. These were pogroms , with the destruction of synagogues , shops, houses and attacks against people identified as Jews . For the regime it was the response to the assassination of Ernst vom Rath , a German diplomat in Paris , by Herschel Grynszpan , a Polish Jew, sentenced to multiple deportations from France .

At the request of Adolf Hitler , Goebbels instigates the leaders of the NSDAP and the SA to attack the Jews. Heydrich organizes the violent attacks that were supposed to target Jewish shops and synagogues. In a single night, 91 Jews were killed and about 25,000 to 30,000 were arrested and taken to concentration camps. 7,500 Jewish stores and 267 synagogues were reduced to rubble.

The orders determined that the SA must be dressed in civilian clothes, so that the movement appeared to be a spontaneous movement of a population furious against the Jews. High Nazi officials fined the Jews a billion marks for the disorders and losses of which they were the victims.

The name Kristallnacht derives from broken glass (shop windows, stained glass windows in the synagogues, among others) resulting from this episode of racist violence.

bottom of page