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Jewish Studies Research Guide

Kirstallnacht, Night of Broken Glass, November Pogrom

On the night between November 9 and 10, 1938, the Nazi authorities unleashed a pogrom across the Third Reich, encompassing Nazi Germany, Austria, and parts of former Czechoslovakia in response to the murder of the Nazi German diplomat in Paris, Ernst vom Rath, on November 7. The news that the Jewish youth of Polish origin Herschel Grynszpan shot Rath reached the Nazi leadership in Munich where they commemorated the failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923. The antisemitic onslaught destroyed lives and property, left Jewish communities deprived of their synagogues and ceremonial objects, and continued in mass deportations and financial deprivation. About 30,000 Jewish men were sent to concentration camps and the Jewish community was heavily fined to cover the reconstruction. The government that incited the aggression forced the victims to take financial responsibility while their property and insurance policies were taken from them.

The following list of recent publications available from Emory Libraries and other institutions aims to assist readers in learning about this event. Kristallnacht is commemorated annually all over the world. November 9 and 10, 2023, marks the 85th anniversary of these pogroms.

Archives and Museums:

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's encyclopedia entry "Kristallnacht" offers a wealth of information and includes links to various items in the museum's collection.

Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remember Center's online exhibition on the November Pogrom is available here.

The Leo Baeck Institute's collections offer archival resources on the history and memory of Kristallnacht.

The Jewish Women's Archive provide the perspective of women surviving and remembering Kristallnacht.

The Jewish Museum Berlin's online exhibition of Kristallnacht is available here.

In Hamburg, the Bornplatz synagogue is rebuilt for the 85th anniversary of the November pogrom. The Bornplatzsynagogue Foundation's website offers a history of the building from design to inauguration, through destruction, and to reconstruction.

Articles and Book Chapters

Goldman, Karla, and Jonathan D. Sarna. “‘DON’T HUSH ME!’: American Jewish College Students and Jewish Identity in the Interwar Period (1939).” In New Perspectives in American Jewish History: A Documentary Tribute to Jonathan D. Sarna, edited by Mark A. Raider and Gary Phillip Zola, 223–33. Brandeis University Press, 2021.

Goldman, Natasha. “Marking Absence: Remembrance and Hamburg’s Holocaust Memorials.” In Beyond Berlin: Twelve German Cities Confront the Nazi Past, edited by Gavriel D. Rosenfeld and Paul B. Jaskot, 251–72. University of Michigan Press, 2008.

Jacobs, Janet. “Memorializing the Sacred: Kristallnacht in German National Memory.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 47, no. 3 (2008): 485–98.

Jonca, Karol. “The Expulsion of Polish Jews from the Third Reich in 1938.” In Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 8: Jews in Independent Poland, 1918-1939, edited by ANTONY POLONSKY, EZRA MENDELSOHN, and JERZY TOMASZEWSKI, 255–81. Liverpool University Press, 2004.

Marrus, Michael R. “The Strange Story of Herschel Grynszpan.” The American Scholar 57, no. 1 (1988): 69–79.

Steinweis, Alan E. “The Trials of Herschel Grynszpan: Anti-Jewish Policy and German Propaganda, 1938-1942.” German Studies Review 31, no. 3 (2008): 471–88.