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Photo: Shattered storefront of a Jewish-owned shop destroyed during Kristallnacht (the “Night of Broken Glass”). Berlin, Germany, November 10, 1938, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD
On November 9th, 1938, the Nazi Party and their supporters carried out a pogrom against the Jews of Germany and Austria. Kristallnacht, or “The Night of Broken Glass”, marked a turning point in Nazi state violence against the Jewish population. Synagogues and religious books were burned, homes were vandalized, businesses were defaced, and Jewish people were attacked on the street.
While we don’t have an exact count, it is believed that around 100 people were killed in the violence that ensued. About 30,000 Jewish men were subsequently arrested and sent to concentration camps, which were becoming operational at larger scales during this time.
After the pogrom, the Nazis blamed the destruction on the Jewish community themselves, and fined the Jewish community 1 billion Reichsmarks (around 400 million dollars in today’s currency) to pay for the damage. When they failed to pay back the “fine”, the Nazi Party used this as an excuse to begin “Aryanizing” Jewish businesses and properties–or taking away the livelihoods and homes of Jewish people and giving them to non-Jews.
Kristallnacht also holds historic significance because it represented the first of many efforts to remove Jewish people from the social, political, and economic life of Germany, which would eventually culminate in the Holocaust.
This Thursday, November 9th, at 7pm, at 401 Elmgrove Avenue on the East Side of Providence, the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center presents “Kristallnacht”, a screening of “Here We Live Again”, a documentary which follows Rhode Island Holocaust survivors.
A question and answer with director Mike Fink, will immediately follow.
To attend, please contact – see below.
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