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it was 65 years ago........kristallnacht...

  1. Ypsilon

    2,452 posts.
    When the Nazis in Hitler's Germany embarked upon their most inhumane, heinous plan, that culminated with the genicide of the European Jews (6 million). It was the 9th of November 1938...It was the day (night) of the infamous "Kristallnacht".....
    Please read.....

    Kristallnacht, "The Night of Broken Glass" (9-10 November 1938)

    On November 9, 1938, the Nazis unleashed a wave of pogroms against Germany's Jews. In the space of a few hours, thousands of synagogues and Jewish businesses and homes were damaged or destroyed. This event came to be called Kristallnacht ("Night of Broken Glass") for the shattered store windowpanes that carpeted German streets.

    The excuse for this violence was the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris, Ernst vom Rath, on the 7th of November 1938, by Herschel Grynszpan, a Jewish teenager whose parents, along with 17,000 other Polish Jews, had been recently expelled from the Reich. Though portrayed as spontaneous outbursts of popular outrage, these pogroms were calculated acts of retaliation carried out by the SA, SS, and local Nazi party organizations.

    Ober Ramstadt synagogue in flames





    Jews arrested during Kristallnacht line up for roll call at the Buchenwald concentration camp.
    (Nov 1938)

    Stormtroopers killed at least 91 Jews and injured many others. For the first time, Jews were arrested on a massive scale and transported to Nazi concentration camps. About 30,000 Jews were sent to Buchenwald, Dachau, and Sachsenhausen, where hundreds died within weeks of arrival. Release came only after the prisoners arranged to emigrate and agreed to transfer their property to "Aryans."
    Kristallnacht culminated the escalating violence against Jews that began during the incorporation of Austria into the Reich in March 1938. It also signalled the fateful transfer of responsibility for "solving" the "Jewish Question" to the SS.



    There are important lessons to be drawn from Kristallnacht, for it served as a bridge experience for both Jews and Nazis. For the Jews, there was the terrifying realization that political anti-Semitism can lead to violence, even in Western countries. It also demonstrated that apathy can still pervade the world when the lives of Jews or other minorities are threatened. For the Nazis, Kristallnacht taught that while the world might condemn their pogroms, it would not actively oppose them. World opinion, however, taught the Nazis the value of secrecy in the perpetration of future actions against Jews. Added to the complaints of Germans offended by the random violence of Kristallnacht, the stage was set for the "Final Solution"--the organized, bureaucratically efficient genocide of 6,000,000 men, women, and children. In retrospect, Kristallnacht was more than the shattering of windows and illusions. It portended the physical destruction of European Jewry. As such, we must remember and commemorate Kristallnacht as a memorial and as a warning.


    Links:
    Pictures from The Lorenz C. Schmuhl Papers, USHMM Archives
    The Simon Wiesenthal Centre: Kristallnacht















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