[...]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.[...]
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.”
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...
Kristallnacht happened 2 nights after gun control went into effect.
The victims were disarmed by the 3rd Reich, before the crime.
That is totally wrong. Wrong, stupid,
offending the victims and belittling the progrom.