Kristallnacht, the night of 9–10 November 1938 in Nazi Germany

On 9 November 1938, mass pogroms against Jews began in Nazi Germany (Kristallnacht, German for ‘Crystal Night’).

Kristallnacht, also called ‘the Night of Broken Glass’ is a series of pogroms organized by the Nazis on the night of 9–10 November 1938 in Germany and Austria. It was the first mass act of physical violence against Jews by the Third Reich. On 9 November 1938, the Nazis killed more than 90 people and 30,000 Jews were captured and sent to concentration camps. Hundreds of synagogues were burned to the ground and thousands of windows of shops owned by Jews were smashed. Hence the historical name of the pogrom.

Kristallnacht was the first major pogrom against Jews carried out by the Nazis. According to historians, the almost complete lack of reaction to the pogrom both inside Germany and in other European countries untied the hands of the Nazis and served as an incentive to start the mass extermination of European Jews.

Kristallnacht was a turning point in the fate of the Jewish community in Germany and Austria. It became a direct prologue to one of the worst crimes of the Nazis – the mass extermination of Jews – the Holocaust, a tragedy that claimed the lives of six million people.

Translated by Elizaveta Ovchinnikova

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