Rachael Passe 7


The Night of the Broken Glass would soon be known as the symbolic beginning of the Holocaust. Hershel Grynszpan's brave actions will cause a huge and drastic change for a lot of Jewish people. Little did he know that his actions would be used by Hitler as a chance for revenge and unity for supporters of Antisemitism.

About Hershel

Hershel was born in Hanover, Germany in 1919. His family originated from Poland. He was currently living with his aunt and uncle in Paris, France, illegally. A couple of days before the shooting, the Germans started denying thousands of Jews of their Polish citizenship.They were not allowed into Poland. His parents, were among these denied of their citizenship. As a result, all of these affected by the German's decisions were stranded and left with the alternative option; to seek refuge in a refugee camp near the town of Zbaszyn. Knowing all of this, Hershel decided to seek revenge for his family's situation.

The Start of Kristallnacht

On the evening of November 6th, he received money from his uncle, who was reluctant at first due to the fear of the possibility of future captivity for harboring an illegal immigrant. He then used the money to purchase a handgun. Ernst Von Roth was the diplomat that was assigned to assist Hershel, therefore creating the perfect revenge plot. He then went to the German group officials and fired upon Roth. The bullet wound was fatal therefore being the cause of his death that occurred on November 9th. The German minister of Propaganda named Joseph Goebbels used this attack to launch a program against all Jews. He stated that this assassination was planned by all Jews. Goebbels words encouraged regional party leaders to take action and give their officers a list of specific instructions. Violence soon occurred on November 9th and November 10th.

November 9th and 10th

Reinhard Heydrich sent various telegrams to officers around different districts in Germany and Nazi Youth units. Their instructions were to destroy any, or as many as possible, Jewish businesses and buildings. This included Synagogues, Jewish homes, etc. Those instructions were played out by the receivers of the telegram. The remains of the buildings and homes were looted and robbed of anything worthy of value. Another order was given to the officers, which stated that they should arrest as many young and fit Jewish men as possible. In the weeks that follow, the brutality and inequality of Jewish people will continue to increase.


"Kristallnacht." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. United States Holocaust Memorial Council, 29 Jan. 2016. Web. 01 Feb. 2016.

"Herschel Grynszpan: The Fate of a Forgotten Assassin." Herschel Grynszpan: The Fate of a Forgotten Assassin.Web. 01 Feb. 2016.

Useful Information

1. More then 267 Synagogues were destroyed during the violent launching of the Nazi program against Jews.

2. About 30,000 men where incarcerated by German officers.

3. Torahs, the holy book(s) used by the Jewish race, were also destroyed and seized.

4. Many German groups dressed as common Jewish people to turn the blame on the Jewish people and to claim that it was the common Jew who created the violence.

5. Hershel was 17 when he attacked Roth.

6. Kristallnacht gained Jews sympathy in the United States.


"Kristallnacht." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. United States Holocaust Memorial Council, 29 Jan. 2016. Web. 01 Feb. 2016.

"Torah Scroll Facts." - Synagogue.Web. 01 Feb. 2016.

"The History Place - World War II in Europe Timeline: November 9/10 1938 - Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass." The History Place - World War II in Europe Timeline: November 9/10 1938 - Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. Web. 04 Feb. 2016.

A Video Summary of the Impact of Kristallnacht

ONE Short: Kristallnacht


In conclusion, Kristallnacht was the symbolic start of the Holocaust. Even though it was the German's actions who originated the tension, Hitler used this as a way of spinning the blame around. In the Nazi supporter's mind, the Jewish people were the cause of all the distress. Due to Hershel's actions, the Nazi's had a reason to break into violence. In all reality, the Jews were a scapegoat. As a final point of irony, Ernst Von Roth was suspected of being sympathetic to the Jewish situation and was in danger of being dismissed.

Do You Want to Learn More?

This is a great website to go to for proper clarification of specific details. This website states all the steps that were coordinated in the attack. The National Holocaust Museum is celebrated throughout the world as a preeminent source of Holocaust history. The museum was established in 1993 and was dedicated to helping leaders and citizens of the world to confront hatred,prevent genocide, promote human dignity, and strengthen Democracy. This website is great for the general subject of modern Jewish history. This organization contains Jewish insight that is historically accurate.