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Kristallnacht, (German: “Crystal Night”), also called Night of Broken Glass or November Pogroms,
occurred on the night of November 9–10, 1938, when German Nazis attacked Jews and their property
in Germany and newly acquired territories in Austria and the Sudetenland. The name Kristallnacht
refers to the broken glass left in the streets after these pogroms The violence continued during the
day of November 10, and in some places, acts of violence continued for several more days.
Some 30,000 Jews were sent to concentration camps, marking the first instance in which the Nazi regime incarcerated Jews on a massive scale simply on the basis of their ethnicity.
On November 12, Hermann Goering, Hitler’s designated successor, announced. “I have received a letter written on the Fuehrer’s orders requesting that the Jewish question be now, once and for all, coordinated and solved one way or another.”
In the weeks that followed, the German government promulgated dozens of laws and decrees designed to deprive
Jews of their property and means of livelihood. Ensuing legislation barred Jews, already ineligible for employment
in the public sector, from practicing most professions in the private sector. Jewish children were expelled from
German schools. German Jews lost their right to hold a driver’s license or own an automobile. Legislation restricted
access to public transport. Jews could no longer gain admittance to “German” theaters, movie cinemas or concert halls.
In the United States, expressions of sympathy for the plight of the Jews were not matched by deeds.
The U.S. did not impose economic sanctions against Nazi Germany, sever diplomatic relations or change in immigration
policy to admit more Jews. The Nazis suffered no serious consequences as a result of their actions.
Kristallnacht symbolized the final shattering of Jewish existence in Germany, as the Nazi regime expanded and radicalized measures aimed at removing Jews entirely from German economic and social life in the forthcoming years. The passivity of the German people showed that the Nazis would encounter little opposition—even from the German churches.
With such minimal opposition, and no serious consequences for their actions, the Nazis felt they could now do what they wanted with the Jews. Kristallnacht gave Hitler and the Nazis a green light to proceed with their plans to murder all the Jews living in Europe. READ FULL ARTICLE