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Reichskristallnacht, One of the Cruel Events of the German Nazi Era All


KOMPAS.com – On the night of November 9, 1938, Jewish synagogues, shops, apartments throughout Germany were destroyed. On the night known as Reichskristallnacht, Jews in Germany were humiliated and brutally tortured.

“I still remember what happened on the morning of November 10,” said W Michael Blumenthal. “My father was arrested in the morning and then, to my mother’s dismay, I walked down the street. In Kurfurstendamm, I saw windows being hurled, smoke rising from the remains of the burned-out synagogue.”

Blumenthal was only 12 years old at the time. 75 years later he returned to Berlin and sat as Director of the Jewish Museum.

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Insulted and beaten

On the night of November 9, 1938, there was a terrible riot, especially for Jews throughout Germany and Austria. Hundreds of houses of worship were looted, vandalized and burned. This event is known as the Reichskristallnacht.

People were humiliated on the street, beaten , also killed – simply because they were Jews. Police witnessed their own firefighters extinguishing Jewish houses of worship and business offices, but only surrounding houses.

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On November 10, 1938, about 30,000 captured Jews were taken to the concentration camps of Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen. Including the father of W Michael Blumenthal.

“I still remember my mother’s words when she was taken away by two policemen. What happened? What did you do? What did she do? Even as a twelve year old child, I could feel the anxiety of adults, in this case my mother. me,” said Michael W Blumenthal.

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9 November 1938

Physical violence and intimidation have occurred in Germany since the rise of the Nazis in 1933. Under the Nurnberg laws of 1935, their activities in public spaces were restricted. Many have lost their livelihood.

“It is important to understand that November 1938 was a turning point in history,” says historian Raphael Gross, who heads the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt.

The events of November 1938 were sparked by the anger of the people over the murder of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath on November 7 in Paris, by a Jewish teenager Herschel Grynszpan.

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As soon as German radio reported the news, riots with anti-Jewish motives spread in several German cities. Two days later – Adolf Hitler personally gave the order.

From Munich, where Nazi leaders gathered to celebrate the anniversary of Hitler’s coup, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels delivered a speech, ordering the destruction of Jewish-owned shops and the burning of synagogues.

This happened not only in big cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, Frankfurt, but also in small towns and villages throughout Germany.

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Kurfurstendamm looks like a battlefield

Many diplomats stationed in Germany reported the incident to their home countries. “They are full of horror and call such words barbaric culture,” said Hermann Simon.

From Hamburg to Innsbruck, from Cologne to Wroclaw–Director of the Judaicum Center managed to collect reports written by diplomats from 20 countries who were stationed in Germany at that time.

For example, the report of the Latvian ambassador wrote, “Kurfurstendamm looks like a battlefield.”

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The world is watching

But no concrete demands or pressure were sent by the diplomats to the government of their home countries.

Historian Raphael Gross said, “The response to the report was relatively low.”

“In November 1938 children began to be taken away to England. These are taken care of by countries, but there are still too few of them,” he added.

The Italian Embassy wrote on November 16, 1938, “It is inconceivable that 500,000 people per day are shot, forced to commit suicide or locked in giant concentration camps.”

W Michael Blumenthal’s family managed to escape to Shanghai, China, in 1938. It was the only place refugees could enter without a visa at the time.

Read also: German Woman Accused of Colluding with Nazis, Flee Before Trial

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