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Emotions of Kristallnacht

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 8 months ago

 With my personal history and connection to Kristallnacht and the Holocaust, come a lot of emotions. When studying, reading, or learning about these events I have an abundant amount of feeling inside me, but they are hard to explain.  Last year I had gone to Poland with my school. In Poland we went to the sites of what remains from four concentration camps. For me and the whole group, that trip carried a lot of emotions. Standing in the place where such inhumane and cruel actions occurred, being in the area where thousands had perished at the hands of the Nazis. I felt hatred, sadness, pain, and disbelief. Although I had many feelings, I found it difficult to express them in words.


While Herschel Grynszpan was being interrogated about the attempted murder of a German Ambassador, he said the following...

"I was not motivated by hatred or by vegeance but the love for my father and my people, who have endured unbearable suffering. I deeply regret having injured anyone, but I had no other way of expressing myself" (Thalmann, 49).


Herschel Gryszpan felt bad for his action of killing Earnest vom Rath, but he felt that was the only way of expressing himself. When a person has strong feelings it is not always so simple to be able to express them in words. As seen with Gryszpan he could not speak of his emotions, but only could take action. For this reason I will attempt to express fellings I have, but I know there is so much more inside than I will be able to show here in writing.


I always feel my heart twist when I hear about people suffering, but hearing it about my people, Jews, makes it even stronger. The persecution Jews were suffering during Kristallnacht was devastating. It hits me even more to know my great grandparents were present at that time of Jews suffering. Hearing that my great grandfather had been sent to a concentration camp instills fear in me. Concentration camps were deadly, not many were able to survive. Hearing of the cruelness done to the Jews sends chills up my spine. There were times when researching historical information for this project that I had tears and had to just stop reading or looking at the picture because it pained me so much. The look on the faces of suffering people, and seeing others being humiliated, or beaten, makes it so hard for me to even see. Even though I know it happened it is so hard to believe that it actually occurred. There are times I think about the “what if”. What if my great grandfather had been killed in the concentration camp? What if my great grandparents were not able to make it out of Germany to America? I probably would not be here, and the family probably would have died a terrible death at the hands of the Nazis. The thoughts of gruesome deaths people had to encounter are hard to even imagine. I do not even understand how people survived. The cruelty they had to go through, the malnutrition, the hard work that was put on them to make them suffer. This is what I think about and it just stirs so many feelings in me. These emotions will be different for everyone, but I know for me they will always be there and will always be strong. I try to imagine what these people who suffered had gone through, but what I think cannot even be compared to the reality that people lived through. It is very important to remember we may think we understand what people went through, but we will never know because we did not go through it ourselves. 


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