List of the Jewish victims in Germany 1933-1939
New publication! The Memorial Book for Synagogues
and Jewish Communities in Austria
New! Beit Ashkenaz Prospect in English and German.
The Mysterious Murder of Ernst vom Rath –
The Nazis' Smokescreen for Pogrom Night, November 9/10, 1938
Just days before Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues across Germany were devastated in the pogrom of November 1938, Ernst vom Rath, a low-ranking Nazi diplomat, was allegedly gunned down in his Parisian office by Herschel Grynszpan, a young Polish Jew. It was vom Rath's murder which sparked the “spontaneous” outburst of violence against the Jews, or so the Nazis said. The Nazis' actions in 1938, however, suggest that they were preparing their most ruthless anti-Jewish operation yet - and vom Rath's assassination was a convenient catalyst for such a strike. Inconsistencies surrounding the assassination itself raise doubts about Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels' account of the incident. Nevertheless, his version of events is generally accepted by historians, even today. Could it be that the Nazis had a hand in vom Rath's death?
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Why the Nazi's paid a life-long pension to a chassidic rabbi,
and provided stormtroopers to safeguard his yeshiva.
A rabbi had a yeshiva, located on 35 Munz Street in the middle of Berlin, which was not only left standing on Kristallnacht, but armed SS guards were actually placed in front of the rabbi's house, bodily protecting him and his disciples from Nazi hooligans. Even months earlier when all the Polish Jews residing in Germany were expelled, this man, Rabbi Kupperstock, and his disciples were not only left alone, but the rabbi continued to draw a stipend from the Nazi German government, as he had for two decades previously.
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correct as of 2003
The events surrounding the night between the 9th and the 10th of November 1938 in Germany are often referred to as „(Reichs-)Kristallnacht“ (crystall night) – even today, and even by respected historians.
Horst Stickmann justifiably calls this word a „description, that plays down this event, suggesting that all that happened were a few shattered windows.“ („verharmlosende Bezeichnung, die suggerieren soll, als seien damals lediglich einige Fensterscheiben zu Bruch gegangen.“) The expression „Kristallnacht“ disguises all the atrocities committed to the Jewish population during this one night. As Avraham Barkai puts it in his essay „Schicksalsjahr 1938“(1938, year of doom): „’Kristallnacht’! It flashes, glitters and twinkles – just like a celebration! It’s about time for this ill-natured belittling term to disappear from historiography.“ („’Kristallnacht’! Das funkelt, blitzt und glitzert wie bei einem Fest! Es wa"re la"ngst Zeit, da? diese bo"swillig-verharmlosende Bezeichnung zumindest aus der Geschichtsschreibung verschwa"nde.“) Calling it a pogrom would be more accurate.
These research projects/publications have been supported by grants from
the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany