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History Focus
November 9


A short focus on a person or event associated with this day in History.



(November 9, 1938)

On this night and into the wee hours of the next morning, glass store and house windows were smashed throughout Jewish neighborhoods in Germany. Thousands of books - volumes of history, philosophy, poetry and religion - fueled bonfires throughout the ghettoes. Synagogues and the Torah scrolls inside them were burned to the ground.

A Night of Terror in Germany Attempt

November 9, 1938 Daily Miscellany Press

On this night in 1938 the Jewish community in Germany endured a night of terror. Nazi thugs went on a rampage, attacking Jewish synagogues, businesses, and property. During the night 267 synagogues were plundered, 7,500 shops were wrecked, 91 Jews were killed and 20,000 others were arrested and sent to concentration camps.

Dr. Goebbels, Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, said that the violence was a 'spontaneous reaction' to the assassination of Ernst von Rath. This was, however, a lie. The violence was carried out by the orders of the Gestapo. During the violence, women clapped as Jews, were beaten by youths wielding lead pipes.

A huge amount of glass was broken. So that the insurance companies were not bankrupted by the breakage of glass, the Nazis declared that they would confiscate insurance payments and return them to the insurers. The night was to be known as 'Kristallnacht' due to the immense breakage of glass. Replacement glass had to be imported and paid for in "foreign" currency. Hermann Goering, upset over the cost of replacing the glass said, "They should have killed more Jews and broken less glass."

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