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Kristallnacht November 9-10, 1938

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

Kristallnacht, also known as the "Night of Broken Glass", took place on November 9-10, 1938. On this night Germans started ransacking and looting Jewish stores, any Jews found on the streets were beaten, and synagogues were set ablaze. My great aunt told me that on the morning of November 10th her father got in his car to drive to synagogue for morning prayers, when my Opa, grandfather in German, got there he saw the synagogue in flames and turned around and went home. Shortly after he returned home, many relatives of my family from the surrounding cities had come to Hamburg for protection. Our cousins thought in a big city like Hamburg it would be safe and they would not have to worry about the persecution. They had come from small cities where they said Jews were attacked, stores were plundered and smashed up, and synagogues burned down. They found out once in Hamburg, that the big city had suffered similar actions. That day two Gestapo members knocked on the door and arrested my Opa and took him away. The family had no idea where he was taken, but later that afternoon after speaking with neighbors they found out that all Jewish men were arrested and taken to a concentration camp near Berlin. When I heard this it frightened me that my Opa was taken to a concentration camp. He was separated from the family without being able to say a formal good bye. Hearing about a concentration camp brings to me a thought of death. For my Opa he was luckily released five weeks later, and commanded to leave Germany.  





Germans walking past a Jewish                   A Jewish synogogue put                  Men arrested during Kristallnacht were

store whose windows were broken,             ablaze on Kristallnacht.                    forced to walk in the streets before

and items looted during Kristallnacht.                                                             being deported to concentration camps.




The night of Kristallnacht brought a lot of destruction to the Jewish communities. The Jews living in Germany had been living with persecution for sometime. There had been a lot of anti-Semitism against the Jews in Germany, it did not just happen suddenly on Kristallnacht. What surprised the Jews was the magnitude of destruction in those couple of days. Many people living in Hamburg were well off, including my family. They had a nice house, car, big businesses; people did not think something like Kristallnacht would happen in a big city like Hamburg, they figured maybe it could happen in small towns. There had been anti-Semitism in Hamburg, Germany, but it was not so open. My Opa was aware of the persecution going on in the country, but he figured that it would pass. This is what many people thought and that is why people stayed where they were instead of getting up and moving.

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