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What was "the night of the broken glass"

What was "the night of the broken glass"

A day like today, exactly 80 years ago, violence and death rose to the streets of the Nazi-Germany. The synagogues burned, Jewish shops were destroyed and the sidewalks were covered with glass and the spoils of destruction. That bloody day of November 9, 1938, whose escalation of brutality spread the next day, later identified as the "Night of broken glass"(Or"Kristallnacht", In German).

The night of the broken glass: firefighters in front of the Fasanenstrasse, the largest synagogue in Berlin, burned down on November 9, 1938 (AP).

The night of the broken glass: firefighters in front of the Fasanenstrasse, the largest synagogue in Berlin, burned down on November 9, 1938 (AP).

Causes and consequences of the "Night of broken glass"

The Nazi propaganda minister Paul Joseph Goebbels He was the one who gave the first attacks on synagogues and buildings of the Jewish community in some districts. The news of the death of a German diplomat in Paris by a young man of Jewish descent was used as an excuse in the press to pass on the attacks through a spontaneously popular reaction. The young man, named Herschel Grynszpan, lived in Paris. His parents originally came from Poland, but they had emigrated to Germany, where he had lived for most of his life. When in October 1938 the German authorities took Grynszpan's parents with the Jews deposed with Poland, the boy entered the German embassy and killed Ernst Von Rath, an official who died two days later.

A photo from June 1938 with anti-Semitic graffiti on a Berlin Jewish site (FRANCE PRESSE VOIR / AFP).

A photo from June 1938 with anti-Semitic graffiti on a Berlin Jewish site (FRANCE PRESSE VOIR / AFP).

The attacks of 9 November were largely committed by the attack divisions under the command of regional leaders of the National Socialist party. The SS and the Gestapo also participated. However, as the historian Alan Steinweis explains, in various places full payroll of employees of companies and companies, Hitler youth and children in school age animated by their own teachers fell into synagogues and Jewish shops. In the city of Saarbrücken for example He took the Jews from their homes in the middle of the night and brought them to the house of prayers where they were forced to dance while they were sprayed with water hoses. This kind of atrocities multiplied over the entire territory of the Third Reich and almost a hundred deaths were recorded.

The photo of a burning synagogue in Glatz, taken on 10 November 1938, is currently on display at the Topography Museum of Terror Berlin (AFP).

The photo of a burning synagogue in Glatz, taken on 10 November 1938, is currently on display at the Topography Museum of Terror Berlin (AFP).

During the night of broken glass more than 7,500 stores and 1,400 synagogues were destroyed. In the days that followed, 30,000 Jews were sent to the concentration camps of Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen. Adolf Hitler he had personally entrusted the latter to the head of the Gestapo.

Some of the objectives of the November pogrom were to encourage the exodus of Jews from Germany and to speed up the transfer of their property. The sanction was on 12 November decree of "Elimination of Jews from economic life" and they were collectively fined for the murder of Von Rath. In the months that followed, the expropriations were completed and the Jews remained in an increasingly vulnerable situation.

Was it the beginning of the Holocaust?

Some newspaper articles suggest that The night of broken glass it marked the beginning of burnt offering. However, the focus of much scientific research on the Holocaust was primarily on the systematic destruction of Jews in the Third Reich. At present, a more extensive appearance could vary from the rise of Hitler in 1933 to the end of the 1945 war, during which the murders and persecutions of other groups were also considered.

Between 1933 and 1939 more than 400 decrees and ordinances were passed to exclude Jews from society, but the Night of Broken Glass brought anti-Semitic violence to another level. As the historian Richard Evans notes, Hitler began to threaten the Jews with physical destruction for the first time.

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