The Night of Broken Glass
The November 1938 Pogroms
Author: Michael Kloft
'We will dispel them more and more with unprecedented relentlessness.'
(Heinrich Himmler on 8 November, 1938)
The 'Reichspogromnacht' is one of the central 'milestones in genocide'. After systematically excluding Jews and looting their homes and businesses in Germany after the seizure of power, the Third Reich showed its violent face openly in what has come to be known as the 'Kristallnacht'. On 9 and 10 November, 1938, roughly 400 synagogues around Germany were set on fire, while SA troops destroyed 7,000 Jewish stores and businesses. More than ninety people were killed, while some 600 committed suicide. Over 26,000 men were deported to concentration camps - allegedly for their own protection - and abused. In response to a storm of international protests, the Nazis claimed that spontaneous acts by agitated citizens had caused the situation. In actual fact, however, it marked the climax in a government-led wave of anti-Semitic violence.
The documentary describes the events leading up to the 'Kristallnacht' and illuminates the background to these dreadful events. Rare footage and photos will show how antisemitism escalated in Germany in the 1930s. Documents from the 'Stürmer Archive' in Nuremburg prove that the majority of the community accepted the state-induced antisemitism and, in some cases, supported it with denunciations.
year of production: 2008