Today is the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht—The Night of Broken Glass—when coordinated mobs throughout Germany and Nazi-annexed Austria attacked Jewish populations in a rampage of death and destruction.
During the days of November 9 – 10, 1938:
- Ninety-one Jewish people were murdered.
- Thousands of private Jewish homes and more than 7,000 Jewish businesses were pillaged and destroyed.
- More than 1,000 synagogues were burned-out and the remains decimated.
The windows shattered by mobs looting homes and businesses left streets covered in broken glass, and thus the label “night of broken glass.” In the aftermath, more than 30,000 Jewish men were rounded up and deported to Nazi concentration camps.
When Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933, his campaign of harassment was the catalyst for Kristallnacht that led to the Nazi Holocaust where 6 million Jewish people were systematically murdered. Kristallnacht was the first state sanctioned violence targeting the Jewish people under the Nazi regime.
An educated understanding of the Bible and history compels Christians to stand with the Jewish community to counter all forms of anti-Semitism. We must choose to remember Kristallnacht and never forget to share the truth about those dark days so that history will not be repeated.
© 2018 Charles E. McCracken, commentary only. Repost/Reprint with permission. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
1) Jewish businessmen of 3 District of Vienna were repeatedly forced in March and April, 1938, to rub sidewalks in front of numerous spectators. [Public domain/Wikimedia]
2) Jews forced to march with star on Kristallnacht. [Public domain/Wikimedia]
3) Destruction of the Synagogue in Bamburg during the Kristallnacht (1938). [Public domain/Wikimedia]
4) Burning Eisenach Synagogue, November 1938 Pogroms. [By Center for Jewish History, NYC/No restrictions/Wikimedia]
5) Interior view of the destroyed Fasanenstrasse Synagogue, Berlin, burned on Kristallnacht; November Pogroms. [By Center for Jewish History, NYC/Public domain/Wikimedia]
6) Frankfurt am Main Synagogue burning during Kristallnacht. [By Center for Jewish History, NYC/No restrictions/Public domain/Wikimedia]
7) Ludwigsburg Synagogue; Burning on Kristallnacht; November Pogroms. [By Center for Jewish History, NYC/No restrictions/Wikimedia]
8) Synagogue of Siegen, Germany, in flames during Kristallnacht (November 9/10 1938). [Public domain/Wikimedia]
9) Wiesbaden Synagogue Burning; Kristallnacht Pogroms; November 9, 1938. [By Center for Jewish History, NYC/No restrictions/Wikimedia]
10) Interior of the Zerrennerstrasse synagogue in Pforzheim after its destruction on Kristallnacht, November 10, 1938. [By StadtArchiv Pforzheim (USHMM ) Public domain/Wikimedia Commons]
11) Prayerbooks lie scattered on the floor of the choir loft in the Zerrennerstrasse synagogue, destroyed on Kristallnacht. [By StadtArchiv Pforzheim (USHMM ) Public domain/Wikimedia]
12) Burning synagogue on Kristallnacht in Nazi-Germany, November 10, 1938. [Public domain/Wikimedia]
13) Cleaning the street after Kristallnacht. [Public domain/Wikimedia]
14) The day after Kristallnacht. German citizens look the other way on November 10 1938. What they see or don’t want to see are destroyed Jewish shops and houses. [Public domain/Wikimedia]
15) Workmen on the rubble of the destroyed synagogue; Chemnitz. [By Center for Jewish History, NYC/No restrictions/Wikimedia]