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Kristallnacht Anniversary: One Marylander Remembers

75 years after the Night of Broken Glass, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum gives survivors the chance to tell their stories.

Kristallnacht Pogrom 75th Anniversary: Remembering a watershed event on road to Nazi Holocaust

It was 75 years ago when the Nazis swept across Berlin and Germany, burning Synagogues and reeking havoc. Today we honor that night, and we honor those who suffered with it

Germany Remembers Kristallnacht Pogrom: 75th anniversary of watershed Nazi anti-Semitic riots

It was 75 years ago that Germany’s Nazi Party stepped up its campaign of persecution against Jews over two days of terror known as Kristallnacht, or ‘The Night of Broken Glass’.

Kristallnacht 75th Anniversary Marked “The Night Of Broken Glass”!!

It was 75 years ago that Germany’s Nazi Party stepped up its campaign of persecution against Jews over two days of terror known as Kristallnacht, or ‘The Night of Broken Glass’. It was a program (a series of coordinated attacks) against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on 9–10 Nov 1938, carried out by SA paramilitary forces and non-Jewish 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. At least 91 Jews were killed in the attacks, and 30,000 were arrested and incarcerated in 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 resident 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. The violence was officially called to a stop by Goebbels on Nov 11, but violence continued against the Jews in the concentration camps despite orders requesting “special treatment” to ensure that this did not happen. On Nov 23, the News Chronicle of London published an article on an incident which took place at the concentration camp of Sachsenhausen. Sixty-two Jews suffered punishment so severe that the police, “unable to bear their cries, turned their backs”. They were beaten until they fell and, when they fell, they were further beaten. At the end of it, “twelve of the sixty-two were dead, their skulls smashed. The others were all unconscious. The eyes of some had been knocked out, their faces flattened and shapeless” The 30,000 Jewish men who had been imprisoned during Kristallnacht were released over the next three months but, by then, more than 2,000 had died. Hermann Göring met with other members of the Nazi leadership on 12 November to plan the next steps after the riot, setting the stage for formal government action. In the transcript of the meeting, Göring said, ‘I have received a letter written on the Führer’s orders requesting that the Jewish question be now, once and for all, coordinated and solved one way or another.. I should not want to leave any doubt, gentlemen, as to the aim of today’s meeting. We have not come together merely to talk again, but to make decisions, and I implore competent agencies to take all measures for the elimination of the Jew from the German economy, and to submit them to me.’ In an article released for publication on the evening of Nov 11, Goebbels ascribed the events of Kristallnacht to the “healthy instincts” of the German people. He went on to explain: “The German people are anti-Semitic. It has no desire to have its rights restricted or to be provoked in the future by parasites of the Jewish race.” While Nov 1938 predated overt articulation of “the Final Solution” it foreshadowed the genocide to come. Around the time of Kristallnacht, the SS newspaper Das Schwarze Korps’ called for a “destruction by swords and flames.” At a conference on the day after the pogrom, Hermann Göring said: “The Jewish problem will reach its solution if, in any time soon, we will be drawn into war beyond our border then it is obvious that we will have to manage a final account with the Jews.”
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Germany marks 75 years since beginning of Holocaust at Kristallnacht

By 1938, Adolf Hitler had been in power for five years. He had imposed his Third Reich, a police…

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By 1938, Adolf Hitler had been in power for five years. He had imposed his Third Reich, a police state and his own personality cult. He was called “Führer” meaning leader or guide. Nazi fascist doctrine was racist and anti-Semitic.

On 7 November, German diplomat Ernst vom Rath was assassinated by 17-year-old Herschel Grynszpan, a German-born Polish Jew resident in Paris – whose family was forced out of Hitler’s Germany.

The assassination was seized as a pretext during the night from 9-10 November for coordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany. They lost any rights. The attackers were paramilitary forces and non-Jewish civilians. The police stood by. This was called Kristallnacht – Night of Broken Glass. Jews were murdered in the rioting; tens of thousand would be transported to concentration camps. Thousands of Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and hundreds of synagogues were destroyed, cemeteries were profaned. The worst was in Berlin and the Austrian capital Vienna. Racial persecution grew.

Commemorating that 1938 beginning of the Holocaust Chancellor Angela Merkel would stress that many people’s failure to speak out had contributed to the “breakdown of civilisation”.

She said: “Racism and anti-Semitism must never be given another chance in Germany, in Europe.”

Now, on Kristallnacht’s 75th anniversary, Merkel called today’s continuing need for police protection for Jewish institutions a sobering reality.

Kristallnact 75th anniversary and recollections of how Allentown Allentown Morning Call

In 1954, at a bar mitzvah in the city of Cali, Colombia, a boy named Eduardo Eichenwald bent his head over the Torah in his family’s synagogue and, in Hebrew, 
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Rabbis Share the Lessons of Kristallnacht With Children in Berlin  

75 Jahre Kristallnacht – Eine Geschichte

wrote Moshe ben Amos ,,,

Die folgende Erzählung erschien 1989 im Buch “Düsseldorf, Donnerstag, den 10. November 1938“ (Texte, Berichte, Dokumente) von Barbara Suchy – herausgegeben vom Stadtarchiv und der Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Düsseldorf.

Dora Moritz wohnte in der Harkortstrasse 13, in der Nähe des Düsseldorfer Hauptbahnhofs. Sie war Schülerin der Jüdischen Schule in der Kasernenstrasse, die an die Synagoge angrenzte…
“Es war unter uns Kindern abgemacht: Jedes Mal sollte ein anderes Kind einen Streich im (Religions-)Unterricht spielen. Dieses Mal war ich an der Reihe. Ich brachte von zu Hause gemahlenen Pfeffer mit. Während Dr. Klein, mit dem Rücken zur Klasse, einen Satz an die Tafel schrieb, blies ich eine Handvoll Pfeffer in die Klasse.
Wir begannen alle zu niesen und zu husten und zu lachen. Dr. Klein riss schnell die Fenster auf. Als sich alles beruhigt hatte, sagten wir, es sei uns kalt, und die Fenster wurden geschlossen. Ich bat Dr. Klein ganz unschuldig, er möge doch den vorigen Satz noch einmal an die Tafel schreiben. Wieder blies ich Pfeffer in die Klasse, und in dem Moment, als sich Dr. Klein zu mir umdrehte, bekam er eine Wolke Pfeffer ins Gesicht und begann, wie ich und die ganze Klasse, zu niesen und zu husten. Die Klasse tobte!
„Dora raus!!!“, schrie Dr. Klein, und ich verliess niesend und lachend die Klasse. Vor der Tür wurde mir kalt. Ich klopfte an. „Herein!“ – „Ich möchte wieder brav sein“, und platzte mit der ganzen Klasse in Lachen aus. „Dora raus!“ Ich stand wieder vor der Tür.
Plötzlich kam Dr. Herz, der Schuldirektor. Er fragte: „Dora, was machst du vor der Tür?“ – „Dr. Klein hat mich rausgeschmissen.“ Dr. Herz klopfte an. Die Tür ging plötzlich auf, und Dr. Herz bekam einen Stoss von Dr. Klein, der gedacht hatte, ich hätte wieder angeklopft! Ich konnte mich vor Lachen nicht halten. Dr. Herz, vor dem ich sehr grossen Respekt hatte, sagte: „Dora, geh nach Hause, und ohne deinen Vater kommst du nicht wieder in die Schule zurück!“
Mein Vater war auf Geschäftsreise und sollte erst übermorgen nach Hause kommen. Ich hatte grossen Kummer und bat am Abend den lieben G-tt, er solle mir doch helfen. Am nächsten Morgen klingelte es heftig an unserer Tür. Es war unser Nachbarjunge: „Frau Moritz, ihre Kinder können nicht in die Schule gehen, die Synagoge brennt.“ Ich glaubte meinen Ohren nicht. Mutti erlaubte mir, zur Schule zu laufen. Ich sah den furchtbaren Brand. Ich sah meine Schule brennen! Oh, lieber G-tt, das hatte ich nicht gewollt…
Es ist das erste Mal, dass ich dieses niederschreibe. Ich hatte viele Jahre Gewissensbisse. Ich träumte nachts immer wieder von der Schule und der brennenden Synagoge und von der furchtbaren Kristallnacht…”
Fortsetzung  11-11-2013

Nachdem ich die Erzählung von Dora Moritz über die Kristallnacht verschickt habe, wurde ich von einigen Lesern gefragt, was eigentlich aus den anderen Protagonisten dieser Geschichte geworden ist. Dora Moritz ist ja 1939 noch rechtzeitig aus Düsseldorf geflüchtet und hat es mit ihrem Bruder 1940 bis nach Israel geschafft (damals noch Britisches Mandatsgebiet Palästina). Ob ihre Eltern, die mit Dora und ihrem Bruder zunächst nach Belgien geflohen sind, den Krieg überlebt haben, ist mir nicht bekannt. Auch über den Schuldirektor, Dr. Herz, habe ich keine Auskunft. 

Aber der Lehrer, Dr. Klein, wurde leider in Auschwitz ermordet. Dies steht auf dem Strassenschild an der Kasernenstrasse – also an jener Stelle, wo einmal die Düsseldorfer Synagoge und die Jüdische Schule stand (siehe Fotos im Anhang). In einem anderen Buch („Juden in Düsseldorf“ von Markus Kiel) habe ich erfahren, dass er übrigens nicht nur Rabbiner und Lehrer war, sondern u.a. auch „Vorsitzender des Reichsbundes jüdischer Frontsoldaten“! Seine Tochter und sein Sohn gelangten mit dem Kindertransport nach England. Er selbst wurde mit seiner Frau im Oktober 1941 in das Ghetto Lodz deportiert, wo seine Frau 1942 starb. Rabbiner Dr. Siegfried Klein wurde später nach Auschwitz deportiert und ermordet.

Deutschland erinnert an «Reichskristallnacht» vor 75 JahrenSchweizer Radio und Fernsehen

November 2013: Noch heute bewegt die Geschichte der Judenvernichtung das  Henry Stern, Überlebender der Reichskristallnacht vor 75 Jahren, berichtet 
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Es brennt immer noch – 75 Jahre nach den Novemberpogromen von Deutschlandradio

 “Kristallnacht” ist ein zentrales Datum in der deutschen Geschichte: Zum ersten  nur ahnen können und das nach 75 Jahren genauso aktuell ist wie zum 50.
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Vor 75 Jahren: „Kristallnacht“ – Geschichte & Tradition – Themenwelt 
Am 7. November 1938 schießt der siebzehnjährige polnische Jude Herschel Grynszpan auf den Legationssekretär der Deutschen Botschaft in Paris, Ernst…/vor-75-jahren-kristallnacht
Die Familie Moritz floh im März 1939 nach Belgien. Dora und ihr Bruder gelangten 1940 nach Palästina.
Der 9. November 1938: Die Reichspogromnacht: So geschah die „Katastrophe 
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 wurden in der Nacht zum 10. November angezündet, mitten und überall in Deutschland. Was an diesem 9. November vor 75 Jahren in Deutschland geschah, ist in die Geschichte als „Kristallnacht“ oder Reichspogromnacht eingegangen.
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Pogromnacht 9. November 1938 : Berliner Schülern diskutieren die Vergangenheit
Es geht um die Scherben der deutschen Geschichte. Um die Pogromnacht am 9. November vor 75 Jahren, die damals auch „Kristallnacht“ genannt wurde, wie Natascha weiß. „Weil so viele Fenster zu Bruch gingen“, meint Johanna. „Nur Fenster?
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Kristallnacht“: Die Welt schaute zu 09.11.2013
75 Jahre später ist er wieder in Berlin, als Direktor des Jüdischen Museums. Und als Aber: “Es ist wichtig, dass man den November 1938 als Einschnitt in die Geschichtebegreift”, sagt der Historiker Raphael Gross, der das Jüdische Museum Frankfurt 
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Anti-Semitism Growing In Germany?

It’s 75 years since the pogroms that became known as Kristallnacht – the night of broken glass. It was the outbreak of mass violence against Jews which was to end in their mass murder. As the anniversary is marked, how strong – or weak – is anti-Semitism in Germany today?

Ruth Recknagel remembers the feral looting. Even today, 75 years later, she recalls people swarming around the broken windows of Jewish shops in Berlin and then snatching what they could.

Ruth was born in 1930, so on 9 November 1938 she was only eight years old. She walked around the shattered glass at Potsdamer Platz with her Jewish father. What she witnessed remains imprinted on her mind.

“It was a decisive break,” she says. “It was the start. From then on, everything got worse.”

Others remembered the way the pogroms unfolded into an organised orgy of violence. There was unrestrained grabbing from shops as well as attacks on schools and even hospitals. The Daily Telegraph correspondent in Berlin at the time, Michael Bruce, recounted “one of the foulest exhibitions of bestiality” he had ever witnessed when rioters broke into a hospital for sick Jewish children.

Tiny children were being chased “over the broken glass, bare-footed and wearing nothing but their nightshirts,” Bruce wrote. “The nurses, doctors, and attendants were being kicked and beaten by the mob leaders, most of whom were women.”

The November pogroms marked the start of the Holocaust. After it, the gloves were truly off. Jews had been persecuted from 1933 – barred from ever more jobs, routinely insulted and attacked. But Kristallnacht was the step-change in escalation. Any pretence and restraint vanished. The shattered glass of Kristallnacht led to the death camps.

And that is not forgotten in Germany today. It is taught in schools and remembered from podiums occupied by the chancellor of Germany down. But how much anti-Semitism lingers despite the knowledge of what happened?

It is a complex picture. There is, for example, a growing Jewish population in Germany. It is small at less than 1% of the total population (and much smaller than the 5% of the population with a Turkish background, for example). But it is a community which is growing rapidly, and people don’t tend to migrate to a more hostile environment than the one they left.

The Israeli embassy in Berlin estimates that there are about 10,000 Israelis in Berlin alone, many of them drawn by the cultural life. The city abounds with Israeli sculptors, painters and musicians who often say they have found a home conducive to artistic creation.

There is, though, sometimes resentment from other Jews. I’ve been in a meeting where a visiting American-Jewish author rounded on the Israelis there who had moved to Germany to live and work. How could they look at themselves in the mirror, the angry author taunted the Israeli immigrants to Germany.

Jews in Germany often say, though, that they find much more anti-Semitism when they go abroad. One person told the BBC she had experienced far worse prejudice in Britain than she had at home in Germany – in a Cambridge college, ham was sometimes placed in her postbox.

The widely accepted research into attitudes to race across Europe was done by the University of Bielefeld. It teased out deeper attitudes by asking indirect questions about, for example, whether respondents thought Jews “have too much influence” or “try to take advantage of past persecution”.

The study, published in 2011, and based on thousands of interviews done in 2008, concluded: “The significantly strongest agreement with anti-Semitic prejudices is found in Poland and Hungary. In Portugal, followed closely by Germany, anti-Semitism is significantly more prominent than in the other western European countries. In Italy and France, anti-Semitic attitudes as a whole are less widespread than the European average, while the extent of anti-Semitism is least in Great Britain and the Netherlands”.

In all the countries studied apart from Italy, a majority answered that “Jews enrich our culture”. In Germany, nearly 70% said so, about the same as in Britain.

But nearly half of German respondents said that “Jews try to take advantage of having been victims during the Nazi era”. That’s compared to 22% for Britain, 32% for France, 40% for Italy, 68% for Hungary and 72% for Poland.

A separate study published by the German parliament in 2012 concluded that 20% of Germans held at least “latent anti-Semitism” – some sort of quiet, unspoken antipathy towards Jews.