by: Ian O'Connor
Kristallnacht was a massive and uncoordinated attack on the Jews by the Germans. This event occurred on the night of November 9, 1938, and continued into the next day. Kristallnacht is a German word for "night of broken glass." It occurred after a 17 year old Jewish boy named Herschel Grynszpan shot and killed a German embassy worker in Paris. On November 9, mob violence broke out in the streets of Germany, Austria, and other Nazi controlled areas. Any market or building had its windows smashed as a retaliation for Grynszpan's action.
Significance in WWII
This event had a huge effect on the war. About 25,000 Jewish men were rounded up and taken into concentration camps. Some of these men were chose at random to be beaten to death by the SS soldiers. In Germany, on November 12, top Nazi's held a meeting discussing what they should do about the recent events. It was decided that all Jews will have no contact with the Germans. The Germans excluded them for public transportation, schools, and hospitals. They essentially forced the Jews to live in the ghettos or leave the country. The team of top Nazi's also decided that the Jews would be billed for the damages of any German businesses of establishments during Kristallnacht.
Grynszpan assassinated and embassy worker on November 8, 1938.
On November 9, 1938, the Nazis launch the first attacks of Kristallnacht.
On November 12, 1938, a team of top Nazis meet to decide on what to do to further punish the Jews for Grynszpan's action.