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Kristallnacht Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet

Date: November 9 - 10, 1938
Sites: Jewish communities throughout Germany and Austria
Perpetrators: Mobs of Germans and Austrians, acting under instructions of the Nazi hierarchy
Damage: Arrested and sent to concentration camps (Buchenwald, Dachau, Sachsenhausen): 30,000 Jews (8,000 from Austria)
Murdered: 36 Jews (other sources put this figure at 91) 36 more severely injured
Vandalized and/or set ablaze: 7500 Jewish homes and businesses 267 synagogues (76 completely destroyed)
Pretext: Assassination of German diplomat, Ernst vom Rath, by Polish- Jewish refugee, Herschel Grynszpan, in an attempt to protest the forced deportation of his family, among the others, to the Polish- German border.
Causes: Nazi policy decision based on:
  1. Internal Nazi Party power struggles as segments of the party (i.e. The S.A., the propaganda section) wanted a greater role in the anti- Jewish activities
  2. Urge to expedite the exclusion of Jews from German life
  3. Economic factors such as the necessity to raise large amounts of money to pay for the rearmament of the German military
  4. 15th anniversary of Hitler's "Beer-Hall m Putsch" of 1923 created an atmosphere that encouraged street violence
  1. The Jewish community is immediately fined 1,000,000,000 Reichsmarks; Nazi government confiscates all insurance claims
  2. Nazis expedite plan for "elimination of the Jew from (the) economic life" of Germany established as official policy, November 12, 1938

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