KRISTALLNACHT, NIGHT OF THE BROKEN GLASS, CRYSTAL NIGHT
Kristallnacht, so named because of the shards of broken glass which littered the streets in towns, cities and villages around Germany in its aftermath, occurred during the night of the 9thNovember and through the 10thof November in Nazi occupied territories which at that time comprised Germany and Austria.
Just before midnight on the 9thNovember, Gestapo chief Heinrich Muller instructed all police chiefs in Nazi Germany not to interfere with reprisals against Jews and their property and to arrest victims. Fire prevention companies were instructed to let Jewish property burn and only to interfere if Aryan property was at risk.
During Kristallnacht one thousand synagogues were burned or damaged, seven thousand five hundred Jewish business were looted or damaged. Jewish hospitals cemeteries and schools were vandalised. At least ninety-one Jews were killed and thirty thousand Jewish men were arrested and imprisoned in concentration camps at Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen.
Whilst Kristallnacht was fuelled by agent provocateurs under Hitler’s instruction, in many cases persons known to the victims participated in the violence. This would appear to demonstrate the success of the Nazi propaganda measures which had begun in 1933 to dehumanise the Jewish population and desensitise and immobilise the civilian population.
In January 1933 Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany. He did not lose any time in wielding the power of his appointment. There was a public burning of books by Jewish and anti-Nazi authors. On the First of April there was a one-day boycott of Jewish businesses. The Department of Racial Hygiene (Ethnic Cleansing) was established.
In 1934 Jews were excluded from military service and Jewish students were excluded from sitting exams in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy and law. Thirtieth June 1934 and the days following saw the Night of the Long Knives when Hitler authorised the death without trial of members of his own National Socialist party who not actively supporting him. A chilling message to anyone seeking to oppose Hitler or his government.
In 1935 the Nuremburg laws restricted civil rights for Jews and mixed race/blood marriages were outlawed. In 1936 Jewish teachers were no longer permitted to work in government schools.In 1937Jewish children were excluded from state schools in Berlin. 1938 saw
an acceleration in the anti-Jewish measures with Jews forbidden to change their surname or use an alias in January.Jews were banned from working as auctioneers in February. Prohibited from owning a gun shop or trading weapons in July. Ordered to add either “Israel” or “Sara” to their given names in August. In September Jewish doctors were prohibited from treating non-Jewish patients. In October Jews were obliged to have a large red ‘J’ stamped on their passports.
With Kristallnacht on the night of the 9thNovember Hitler effectively declared war on the Jewish population. It was no longer safe for Jews to stay in Nazi Germany. The Holocaust has begun.
#neverforget #neveragain #onthisday #kristallnacht
Author The Cypher Bureau