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On November 9, 1938, the Nazis organized a series of mobs and riots against Jews in Germany. Thousands of synagogues, Jewish businesses, and homes were destroyed and burned. Tens of thousands of Jews were sent to concentration camps. The amount of glass left behind gave the incident its name: Kristallnacht ("Crystal Night"), or the "Night of Broken Glass."

World reaction was strongly negative, especially in the United States, where systematic boycotts were organized against German products.

Kristallnacht followed decades of Pogroms against Jews across eastern Europe and Russia.

It was planned, organized by the Nazis.[1][2] It was not a "spontaneous" outburst, there were non-Jews who were outraged by it.[3] though Gobbles and co. sure wanted the German people to think it was.

on the night of November 9–10, 1938, Goebbels instigated Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. Jews throughout Germany and Nazi territories were attacked in a massive, coordinated pogrom. Over 7,500 Jewish storefronts were smashed, littering the streets with broken glass, giving the event its name. Nearly 300 synagogues were burned down. Several hundred men, women and children were dragged out of their homes and brutalized, at least 91 murdered. Up to 30,000 men were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Many European and American Jews understood it was an augur of things to come. Two months later, in January 1939, Hitler gave a speech at the Reichstag threatening "the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe."

Further reading

  • Evans, Richard J. The Third Reich in Power: 1933-1939 2005. 800 pp.
  • Friedlander, Saul. Nazi Germany and the Jews: Volume 1: The Years of Persecution 1933-1939 (1998)


  1. Itamar Eichner, Frightened Jews, vandalism and cruelty: photos documenting the horrors of Kristallnacht are published for the first time, YNet, Nov 7, 2022.
    Over the years, the pogrom, in which dozens of Jews were murdered and thousands more were sent to concentration camps, was described as a "spontaneous outbreak of the German public". A rare and chilling album, obtained by "Yad Vashem" and photos from which are published here for the first time, provides proof that the violence was planned and organized.
  2. Chilling, newly discovered photos show Nazi Kristallnacht up close, Associated Press via TOI, 9 November 2022.
    Yad Vashem says images are first to show pogrom from indoor vantage point; indicate German public was aware and that violence was coordinated by authorities.
  3. Nelson, Walter Henry. The Berliners, their saga and their city. New York: D. McKay Company, 1969. 117.
  4. Schwartz, Roy. Is Superman Circumcised? The Complete Jewish History of the World's Greatest Hero. United States: McFarland, Incorporated, Publishers, 2021. 62.