Kristallnacht Jewish shops and Jews could not
Kristallnacht –Cause and EffectThe Holocaust was a great tragedy, but it didn’t happen overnight. It was a long process of demeaning Jews as subhuman. This started as early as 1933 when Hitler first came to power. However, Kristallnacht, or The Night of the Broken Glass, was like the dam bursting.
It was when the government of Germany encouraged its people to loot and burn Jewish shops, synagogues, and schools. In addition, many Jews were pulled out of their houses in the middle of the night and sent to concentration camps. In some towns so many of the men were sent to the camps that the women and children were forced to clean up the broken glass that littered the streets. Kristallnacht was a very significant point in the Holocaust, and it is important to understand the events leading up to it, and the consequences of it.
The events leading up to Kristallnacht began in 1933 when Hitler came to power. He used the Jewish people as a scapegoat for the rest of Germany. He convinced the people of Germany that the Jews were a scourge and had to be destroyed. Slowly, Germany began putting more and more restrictions on Jews’ civil liberties. Burning books by Jewish authors, destroying Jewish art.
Aryan were told not to shop in Jewish shops and Jews could not shop in Aryan-owned shops. In 1935 The Nuremberg Race Laws were passed. These stated that Jews could not go to public swimming pools, theaters, schools, etc.
In addition Jews were forced to sew a Star-Of-David on their clothes to identify them as Jews. At this point in time, Jews could do very little. Some were arrested just for taking a walk outside. So at this point in time Jews were very restricted. One Jewish teenager, Herschel Grinszpan, was living in Paris. His father was relocated by the Nazis to Poland.
He decided that he was going to assassinate the German ambassador. He went to the embassy, but he was not able to locate his target. So he tried to assassinate Third Secretary Ernst vom Rath instead. Ironically, Rath was an anti-Nazi.
Even though Rath was only a minor official, Hitler used propaganda to convince people that the act was an international conspiracy by Jews everywhere. Hitler made it seem as though Jews were attacking Germany itself. This is what led to Kristallnacht. The act of one Jew gave Hitler exactly the excuse he needed to hurt the Jews en masse and in public. It gave him the excuse for the government to condone mass destruction of Jewish property and businesses.
Even though Jews were losing their liberty they still endured it as best they could. However Kristallnacht convinced them once and for all that they were in serious trouble. Kristallnacht was organized by the government against the Jews. The German government made a half-hearted attempt to make the event seem like a spontaneous act by the German people, but it was obvious it was not. Police and officials even directed people to loot certain stores.
While crowds set fire to stores and synagogues, firemen stood by and watched, only putting out the fire when it threatened to spread to German buildings. Jews were dragged out of bed and beaten, robbed, and sent off to camps. Afterwards when reporting on the event Heydrich, a commander, said ‘All together there are on hundred and one synagogues destroyed by fire’ and ‘ Seventy-six synagogues demolished. And seventy-five hundred stores ruined in the Reich’. Apparently the event was also a part of the government’s plan to end Jewish businesses and effectively eject the Jew from the economy.
The effects of Kristallnacht were even harder on the Jews. Before the Jews had convinced themselves that nothing truly terrible could happen to them. Many Jews believed the war would soon end and Germany would lose. They thought they had nothing to worry about.
They endured the racism and discrimination. Kristallnacht however, showed them the harsh reality that they were in danger. A government that could incite the public to commit such terrible acts surely posed a threat. Kristallnacht convinced the Jewish people that they were in trouble.
The threat of being deported to a concentration camp increased. Bibliography:thsdfdsf