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70 years ago: "Kristallnacht" in Germany

 
 
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 02:03 am
From today's Guardian:

Quote:
http://i34.tinypic.com/1z53inl.jpg
[...]Berliners went wild that day, 19 years ago. The impossible had happened. The Wall had come down. It was November 9 1989. I wasn't there. But I was there on that same date in 1938, 70 years ago. Germans went wild on that day, too. They let loose an orgy of destruction. The synagogues were set ablaze. Jewish shops were smashed up and pillaged. Jewish men were rounded up, beaten up, some to death, many sent to concentration camps. What eventually followed was unthinkable. The streets that night were strewn with broken glass. The Germans called it Kristallnacht, the night not of broken glass but broken crystal, to symbolise the "ill-gotten Jewish riches" Germans would now take from them. Never mind the many Jewish poor. Never mind that Jews such as my grandparents were Germans as deeply patriotic as any of their neighbours.[...]





http://i33.tinypic.com/2mosd43.jpg
Synagogue Essen

http://i34.tinypic.com/htvk74.jpg
Cover of a brochure about the events in Fürth

http://i36.tinypic.com/smwz6f.jpg
Synagogue in Konstanz

http://i34.tinypic.com/2dj8caq.jpghttp://i33.tinypic.com/mlnwp4.jpg
Synagoge in Emden,
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 11,049 • Replies: 14
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 02:04 am
@Walter Hinteler,
On the afternoon of Wednesday, November 9, 1938, Joseph Goebbels was told that the German diplomat Ernst Vom Rath had died of his wounds. Rath had been shot two days earlier in Paris, by a young Jew named Herschel Grynszpan.

The death of the diplomat signaled the beginning of the pogroms of Kristallnacht, "the Night of Broken Glass" - a Nazi term that everyone uses for some reason, although it far from expresses what took place: Jewish citizens were murdered and wounded, and synagogues and stores were set on fire. In the weeks that followed, thousands of Jews were detained in concentration camps, and discriminatory measures against German Jews increased.

Quote:
Just before midnight on November 9, Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller sent a telegram to all police units informing them that “in shortest order, actions against Jews and especially their synagogues will take place in all of Germany. These are not to be interfered with.” Rather, the police were to arrest the victims. Fire companies stood by synagogues in flames with explicit instructions to let the buildings burn. They were to intervene only if a fire threatened adjacent “Aryan” properties.

In two days and nights, more than 1,000 synagogues were burned or otherwise damaged. Rioters ransacked and looted about 7,500 Jewish businesses, killed at least 91 Jews, and vandalized Jewish hospitals, homes, schools, and cemeteries. The attackers were often neighbours. Some 30,000 Jewish males aged 16 to 60 were arrested. To accommodate so many new prisoners, the concentration camps at Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen were expanded.

After the pogrom ended, it was given an oddly poetic name: Kristallnacht"meaning “crystal night” or “night of broken glass.” This name symbolized the final shattering of Jewish existence in Germany. After Kristallnacht, the Nazi regime made Jewish survival in Germany impossible. [*]

The cost of the broken window glass alone came to millions of Reichsmarks. The Reich confiscated any compensation claims that insurance companies paid to Jews. The rubble of ruined synagogues had to be cleared by the Jewish community. The Nazi government imposed a collective fine of one billion Reichsmarks (about $400 million in 1938) on the Jewish community. After assessing the fine, Hermann Göring remarked: “The swine won’t commit another murder. Incidentally…I would not like to be a Jew in Germany.”
Source: Britannica online

*Personnally, I - and many others - don't like the naming those terrible events 'Kristallnacht' or even 'night of broken glass': traditionally you break glass etc on the night before a wedding, it's a lot of fun [and drinking]. These cynic naming doesn't reflect at all what happened there - 'progrom night' is a better name in my opinion.

"Reichskristallnacht" as it was/is called: 'Reich-', as if only the government was involved and not the German citizens, '-crystal-' as an euphemistic description of ruining all and everything in Jewish live, '-night' as a metaphor of the political darkness --- if you think in such terms, it's alright to give it this name.


0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 02:13 am
Kristallnacht happened 2 nights after gun control went into effect.


The victims were disarmed by the 3rd Reich, before the crime.


David
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 02:31 am
@OmSigDAVID,
David, your biased views on gun control just show brightly here.

Do you really think that all guns were taken from the people in two days?

Do you really think that Jewish people by the time were used to guns and able and skilled to use them?

Judging past time by the criteria of today is a profound misperception of history and the human nature...
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 02:51 am
Walter, it was a planned event. You can be sure that the local 'SA' groups had all been given their targets to strike against. This was not a uncontrolled event or a riot, I suspect that most Germans stayed inside with the doors locked and wondered what was to become of them now that the thugs in uniforms could tell the police what to do...
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 03:01 am
@Francis,
Quote:

David, your biased views on gun control just show brightly here.

Thay do.

Yes. I am biased in favor of freedom,
and in favor of keeping a short leash on government.


Quote:

Do you really think that all guns were taken from the people in two days?

I don 't.
No.
The president of police of Berlin decreed that the disarmament
was in effect 2 days before the pogrom was executed.
Thay were disarmed as of 2 days before Kristallnacht, according to him.
He may have been accurate,
in that history does not record much armed opposition.
Apparently, the national socialists were willing to wait
until the Jews had been disarmed, before executing Kristallnacht.
At the moment, I don 't remember whether the death penalty was involved.
The 3rd Reich coud be a little drastic in its penalities sometimes.

Quote:

Do you really think that Jewish people by the time
were used to guns and able and skilled to use them?

I don 't understand your syntax.
U can refrase the question,
but I 'll refer to Jewish defense of the Warsaw Ghetto,
until thay ran out of ammunition,
if that has anything to do with your question.

Quote:

Judging past time by the criteria of today is a profound
misperception of history and the human nature...

Sometimes that applies.
What else applies is enduring principles of human nature.

U seem to imply that the nature of the Jews
was not such as to use defensive guns effectively against the socialists.
I am skeptical about that.
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 03:14 am
...as for the guns??

There weren't any left by 1938. The Weimar Republic saw the closest that modern Germany has had to civil war - even the Hitler elite could see the value of having all their enemies (and that includes the SA) disarmed as the Nazis quietly took over the Parliament, the judiciary, the military and the policeforce.


http://www.annefrank.org/upload/Kinderjaren/arends%2013.jpg
..you won't see photos of the SA carrying weapons, they didn't need too. The fear they installed by just wearing the uniform and the stranglehold they held on all aspects of day-to-day life made any non-conformist act a crime.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 03:19 am
@Mr Stillwater,
In addition to the disarmament speech of the president
of the Berlin Police Dept, Hitler made a speech
in which he expressed pride in gun control,
pride in the new nazi gun control statute, around that time.

I am not much of a researcher,
enuf to find it n quote it,
but I 've seen it before.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 03:39 am
Germany’s prelude to significant disarmament began during the Weimar Republic, when expansive registration and recordkeeping requirements of firearms and firearm owners were mandated in 1929. On these policies Dave Kopel and Richard Griffiths write:

"Under the Weimar law, no license was needed to possess a firearm in the home unless the citizen owned more than five guns of a particular type or stored more than 100 cartridges. The law’s requirements were more relaxed for firearms of a “hunting” or “sporting” type. Indeed, the Weimar statute was the world’s first gun law to create formal distinction between sporting and non-sporting firearms. . .. Significantly, the Weimar law required the registration of most lawfully owned firearms. . . In Germany, the Weimar registration program law provided the information which the Nazis needed to disarm the Jews and others considered untrustworthy

In 1938, after Hitler had taken power, he expanded the registration requirements and began to compile the data on firearm owners as well as the types and quantities of the firearms possessed. The original purpose of the Weimar registration requirements was to provide for public safety by controlling who could possess firearms and to allow the government to regulate their use. Antithetically, passive registration in the name of public safety gave Hitler the ability to begin complete disarmament.
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 03:46 am
There weren't any ghettos in Poland until 1941.


Ghetto-ization and wearing yellow stars only took place after Kristallnacht. The majority of the actual people who could have d0ne something about resisting Nazism had been safely neutralised by 1938. The first of the concentration camps were built and in operation in the period 1933 to 1936. They weren't filled with 'Juden' or 'criminals' then, all 'disloyal' Germans - Communists, pacifists, pastors, trade-union leaders, liberals, and the like - the 'enemy non-combatants' of the 1930s.

By 1938 all those who could flee from Germany had. If the populations outside of the Reich managed to resist during the wartime, that only indicates that they knew that the fate the could expect was worse than staying and fighting.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 06:00 am
@OmSigDAVID,
OmSigDAVID wrote:

Kristallnacht happened 2 nights after gun control went into effect.


The victims were disarmed by the 3rd Reich, before the crime.


David


That is totally wrong. Wrong, stupid, offending the victims and belittling the progrom.

Though this is my thread, about the progrom night and NOT about German weapon laws:
the law re owning weapons was first altered after the various attacks of murdering right-wing terrorists, especially after the attacks on Mathias Erzberger and Walther Rathenau. (The existing law as of December 12, 1918 and January 30, 1919 became the "Gesetz zum Schutz der Republik" [Law for the Protection of the Republic] on 21.07.1922.)
On April 12,1938 the Nazis combined all existing laws and 'created' the new Law about Weapons and Ammunition.

Since all this is very well documented, anything else is a fairy tale, trying to change history by own words.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 06:04 am
@Mr Stillwater,
The SA was not an organsation thought to be armed. (Though in the early days many were: the first members [after WWI] came largely from the Freikorps [Free Corps], armed freebooter groups, made up largely of ex-soldiers, that battled leftists in the streets in the early days of the Weimar Republic.
Only from 1939 onwards many of them were armed: the SA was in charge of training all able-bodied men for Home Guard (which later became the 'Volkssturm') units.

0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 06:57 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Just to inform you, David: under Allied Control Law is was forbidden in (West-)Berlin to own any weapons, including fixed bladed knives.
The penalty for this - in the American sector - was .... capital punishment.
Until the re-unification on October 3, 1990.
(Though the death penalty wasn't imposed since the late 40's of last century for this.)

Could we please now come back to the 'Reichskristallnacht'?

Thank you.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 11:58 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Quote:

That is totally wrong. Wrong, stupid,
offending the victims and belittling the progrom.

HOW does it offend the victims ?
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 11:59 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Please read just a bit about the Progrom, David. The wiki report will do.

Please do.
0 Replies
 
 

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