Encyclopedia

Kristallnacht

the Night of Broken Glass, was a pogrom organized by the Nazis which took place in Germany and Austria in 1938. Hundreds of synagogues were burned and thousands of Jewish shop windows were broken. "Kristallnacht" refers to the broken glass from the shop windows.

On October 29, 1938 the German police began driving 20,000 Polish citizens into the no-man's land between Poland and Germany near the Polish town of Zbaszyn. On November 7, 1938, in Paris Herschel Grynszpan, a Jewish youth whose parents were among the expelled, shot Ernst vom Rath, a German diplomat.

The Nazis used this as a pretext for a pogrom against the Jews. On November 9 and 10, in all parts of Germany and in parts of Austria, Nazi storm troopers set fire to hundreds of synagogues and destroyed thousands of Jewish businesses. Around 100 Jews were murdered and 30,000 Jewish men were put into concentration camps. The Jews were fined 1,000,000,0000 marks to pay for the damage that was done to them, not by them.


Source: Encyclopedia of the Holocaust.


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