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Kristallnacht: What Makes Us Remember?
By: Courtney Salera
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“Remembrance is the stage for monumental history.”[1]

The Holocaust: many people know what it is, but few know what started it, and how a certain sequence of events could lead to the annihilation of six million of Europe’s Jews.  Until the beginning of this year, I was one of many who had read Anne Frank’s Diary and seen Schindler’s List, but never really taken the time to reflect on the enormity of the event.  When I took my first in-depth class on the Holocaust, a reading seminar, I was surprised at the strong emotions that I felt after reading memoirs and diaries of survivors.   In this paper I wanted to convey that feeling, and to express what I gathered as most important from my own studies: what we can learn from events like the Holocaust, and to never let something like it happen again.  I chose the topic of Kristallnacht as an event that could show people the profound consequences that one group’s hatred could have on the world.  It exemplified how the world’s unwillingness to intervene after being faced with horrifying facts could lead to the annihilation of close to an entire religious group in Eastern Europe.  Many historians believe that Kristallnacht was the event that led to the extermination of six million Jews throughout Europe, and what amazed me was that almost no one I talked to, friends and parents alike had ever heard of the incident.  This paper is a means by which to express the importance of such a monumental occurrence in history, and to show how something of its magnitude can become lost in our memory over time.  To do this, I attempted to trace the commemorations of Kristallnacht’s anniversaries to find trends in the way we honor and remember one of the most important occurrences in modern history.

My initial source of information on remembrances of Kristallnacht was Michal Bodemann’s essay, Reconstructions of History.  After reading his essay, which focused mainly on anniversaries in Germany, I decided that I wanted to look exclusively at commemorations within the United States.  To do this I researched various newspapers and magazines to try to get a sense of how Americans reacted throughout the decades.  Books on Kristallnacht, in particular, as well as historical textbooks enabled me to find background information from which I could base my theories.  These sources facilitated my developing a question whose answer could further my understanding of Kristallnacht, as well as the way Americans remember events in general.  I came to the conclusion that immediately after Kristallnacht occurred, much of the world, including the United States, expressed horror and disgust at the events that took place in Nazi Germany.  The question that I wanted answered from this observation was why, after this initial expression of shock and premonitions of danger for the Jews, did information concerning Kristallnacht disappear from the news in subsequent years?  I also wanted to see if Kristallnacht was ever commemorated again, and if so, why the recurrence in later years?  In a sense, what affects American citizens’ memory?

Kristallnacht as an Event in History

Before tracing the anniversaries of Kristallnacht through time, I wanted to look at the historical background of the event.  To understand the significance of Kristallnacht and why it is important to study its appearance in our memory, it is essential to have a clear picture of what occurred on November 9 and 10, 1938, as well as to deal with certain discrepancies that have emerged in later years pertaining to its origin, name, and date.


What was Kristallnacht?  The traditional definition recalls that on November 9, 1938, propaganda minister Josef Goebbels announced a government-sanctioned reprisal against the Jews following the murder of Ernst vom Rath by seventeen-year-old Herschel Grynszpan.  Synagogues were ravaged and then burned, while Jewish shops were destroyed and their windows were broken.  Throughout Germany and Austria the pogroms raged while police and firefighters stood by, only taking action to prevent the spread of fire to non-Jewish owned properties.[2]  Different interpretations also hold that Kristallnacht was not a sudden revolution, but rather stemmed from the threat perceived by the Nazis in 1937 as a process of normalization.[3]  Those who claim that Kristallnacht was not a sudden occurrence believe that over the years, steps towards expropriation, terror, and expulsion were all a natural progression prior towards the murder of vom Rath by Grynszpan.  These different interpretations surrounding the idea of Kristallnacht as an evolutionary event are important to note, because it creates controversy surrounding the origin of the actual occurrence.

Origin of Name

Like the definition, the origin of the term “Kristallnacht” is also under debate.  At midnight on November 10, the Nazis announced the occurrence of an Aktion or Judenaktion, which gave Kristallnacht its first name.  The actual term Kristallnacht, or Crystal Night in English, did not come into popular usage until 1946.[4]  Although this term for the event is commonly used in our modern time, many have a problem with the title because they believe that Nazis invented the name to mock Jews on the night of the event.  These people believe that Walter Funk, at a November 12, 1938 Nazi meeting, coined the term as a derogatory remark against the Jews.[5]  In a 1959 article, Theodor Adorno explains what he believes to be the meaning of the term “Kristallnacht”:

Recent debates, especially research projects on local pogroms of 1938, have provided information that the notion of Reichkristallnacht conveyed not so much Nazi cynicism but a critical stance toward Nazi brutality.  Accordingly, the folks of Berlin articulated their wit and supposed distance from fascism by coining and employing that very term.[6]

Walter Pehle argues that if Kristallnacht was a popular coining, then it reflects anything but a sense of sympathy on the part of the population.  He writes “the term ‘Crystal Night’ sparkles, glistens, and gleams, as if it were a festive occasion.”[7]  A contemporary German history textbook also cited Kristallnacht as a term “which trivialized the appalling human suffering involved.”[8]  This theory is important because it coincides with the fact that many issues concerning Kristallnacht are still in debate even today.  For the purposes of this paper, I decided to use the term “Kristallnacht,” as it is the most popular representation of the term used today.

Origin of Date

The origin of the anniversary date of Kristallnacht is another issue with certain discrepancies surrounding it.  Although Kristallnacht is celebrated on November ninth, most of the damage occurred on November tenth.  In the 1940’s, memory concerning the actual date became blurred, and November 9 became a preferred day for commemoration.  Michal Bodemann argues that the motive for moving the date to the ninth, even though most damage was done on the tenth, is because of two earlier events that occurred on the ninth of November in which the Left was held responsible.[9]  In any event, it is important to realize that the date became fixed in the mid-1950s on the initiative of the Germans, not the Jews, which is significant because it foreshadows increasing control of the state over commemorations of Kristallnacht in later years.

 Pre-Kristallnacht Preparations

Before looking at the events that occurred on the ninth and tenth of November, it is important to look at the events that arose preceding the pogroms.  From the beginning of the Nazi regime, measures restricting Jews from all aspects of life emerged gradually, until the culmination of events during the Kristallnacht pogroms.  The Nazis attempted to implement all the points of the NSDAP Party Program of 1920, which concluded with the Nuremberg Laws of 1935.[10]  The Nuremberg Laws degraded the Jews to the level of an inferior race, and attempted to isolate them from the rest of the population.  The SS journal, Das Schwarze Korps, stated on October 14, 1937 that all Jewish businesses should disappear, and in April of 1938 this began when all Jewish persons were required to register their businesses.[11]  In June of 1938 there were already destructions of Jewish synagogues in Munich, and in the middle of the same month, 1500 Jews were deported to concentration camps.  August saw the destruction of the Nuremberg synagogue, and in October all Jewish passports were marked with the symbol “J.”[12]  This segregation of Jews from German society culminated in October of 1938 with the expulsion of the Polish Jews.

Expulsion of Polish Jews

A new Polish law was enacted in March of 1938, which stated that a person living abroad could be stripped of citizenship if he or she acted in detriment to the Polish state, lost ties by a stay of five or more years, or did not return by their specified deadline.[13]  This law was put into effect because the Polish government feared the potential mass migration of Polish citizens living in Austria and Germany returning to the country because of anti-Jewish sentiment.  On October 27-28, Polish Jews living in Germany were caught completely unaware by SS officer Heinrich Himmler’s instructions to “use the full force of the Security Police and Regular Police…all Polish Jews in the possession of valid passports are to be taken into custody immediately for the purpose of deportation.”[14]  The German government decided to deport Polish Jews because they did not want them in Germany any longer, but based on the new law the Polish government would not let them into the country.  This conflict of laws caused thousands to be stranded on the border in the freezing cold with little or no provisions.  The deportation of the Polish Jews set the stage for the murder of Ernst vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan.  On November 3, 1938 Grynszpan received a postcard from his parents on the border, telling of the horrific conditions in which they were living.  His anger over the situation in Poland and the way Germans treated the Jews caused him to walk into the German Embassy in Paris and shoot German official Ernst vom Rath.  On November 8 following the murder, local attacks in several German towns against Jewish business occurred, and several synagogues were set ablaze.  These events were preceded by party rallies in commemoration of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, and speeches causing incitement against the Jews.[15]  This action led up to the events that were to occur on November 9 and 10, 1938.

Kristallnacht Pogrom

On November 9, vom Rath died at a hospital in Paris after Hitler sent his own personal physician for his care.  At the meeting commemorating the Putsch, Hitler was informed of vom Rath’s death, and as a result carried out an intense conversation with Goebbels that no one present could overhear.  Soon after, Goebbels gave a speech regarding the death of vom Rath to those present at the meeting.  In a final secret report to Herman Goering, Walter Buch wrote that “The verbal instructions of the minister of propaganda were apparently understood by all leaders present to mean that the [Nazi] party was not to appear to the outside world as the originator of the demonstrations, but in actuality was to organize and carry them out.”[16]  At the end of the two days 7,500 stores had been destroyed, along with 29 warehouses, 171 houses, 191 synagogues, and 11 community centers.  30,000 Jews were arrested and 236 died as a result of Kristallnacht.[17]

Importance and Significance of Kristallnacht

“I myself could scarcely believe that such things could occur in a twentiethcentury civilization.”[18]-Franklin D. Roosevelt

Following the Nazi attack on Jewish homes, the Jews were required to make certain reparations to the German government.  First they were obliged to pay a collective “contribution” of one billion RM, equivalent to four hundred million dollars.  There were also mandatory regulations established to force the Jews, at their expense, to make repairs to all business establishments, with insurance money confiscated by the Reich.  Lastly the Decree on the Exclusion of Jews from Economic Life on November 12, 1938 prohibited Jews from operating any retail business or conducting trade.[19]  These degrading and excessive measures placed on the Jews “mark[ed] the beginning of a new chapter in anti-Jewish legislation in the Third Reich, which was to lead to ultimate destruction.”[20]

One of the most significant aspects of Kristallnacht is that it was one of the key catalysts that eventually led to a “final solution” for the Jews.  Because there was no great enthusiasm among the German population for the violence and destruction of Kristallnacht, the Jewish “problem” as a result had to be solved “coldly, scientifically, with exercise of terror and brutality hidden from the eyes of the German public.”[21]  Nazi party member Herman Goering described the pogrom as Hitler’s excuse to take advantage of the occasion to express his desire to find a definitive solution to the Jewish question in “one way or another.”[22]

The significance of Kristallnacht as one of the key events that led to the Holocaust, steered the way to its commemoration in later years.  The drama and theatrical quality of Kristallnacht makes it ideal for tribute; it symbolizes the onset of the Holocaust, it has vivid imagery, and it comprises a good and a bad side involving violence.[23]  Kristallnacht also represents the last chance non-Jewish Germans had to act, and they did not.  The choice of Kristallnacht as a single event to commemorate is also appropriate because on that occasion the government made clear its intention toward the Jews.[24]

 Kristallnacht and the Larger World View

In beginning my observation of the commemoration of Kristallnacht over time, I wanted to start by looking at the assessment of the event in newspapers and magazines immediately after it occurred.  I commenced with a look at Germany’s and Europe’s reaction, and then used this information to observe more closely the reaction of the citizens of the United States.  I also searched for information on Kristallnacht during the post-war period to see how the reaction to Kristallnacht differed from reactions right after the event occurred.  These primary responses are important; it is from these that we can frame our discussion of Kristallnacht in the memory of Americans over the decades.

Germany and Europe, 1938

In Germany, the initial reaction to Kristallnacht seemed muted, with efforts made not to place any direct fault on members of the Nazi party.  A telegraph from the German Press claimed that, “Observers noted no uniforms of Nazi organizations among the perpetrators.  It is not conceivable that this admirable body of police would have tolerated such infraction of order.”[25]  While many German officials denied any direct involvement by the Nazi party, at least the civilian population showed disgust towards the destruction produced on November ninth and tenth.  Lyman Letgers writes, “While the value hierarchies of Germans may also have included anti-Semitism, for one reason or another it was apparently well down the line of priorities and therefore was subordinated when it conflicted with other, higher-ranking values.”[26]  By “higher-ranking values” Letgers means the observance of order and discipline adherent to German society, which Kristallnacht obviously violated. 

In England, the Manchester Guardian fully covered the events surrounding Kristallnacht.  On November 9, 1938 there was a front-page article entitled, “Germans Begin Reprisals Against the Jews,” where the correspondent described the window breaking and synagogue burnings.[27]  Although the Guardian detailed the event, the paper failed to show any sympathy towards the plight of the Jews, and instead commented on the fear of window-smashing taking place in London, as well as misspelling Grynszpan’s name.  On November 10, however, the Guardian displayed anger over the fact that Germans were blaming all Jews for the act of one individual.  The article detailed the “spontaneous” anti-Semitic demonstrations in several German towns, and that “old fighters” wearing 1923 Putsch uniforms attacked when they heard the news of vom Rath’s death.[28]  What is most interesting though, is a November 11 article that claimed that “punitive measures against the Jews would depend largely on foreign reaction to disorders.”[29]  Clearly the Manchester Guardian knew that foreign reaction would influence the way the Nazis treated Jews in the future, yet the paper made no attempt to raise public interest in stopping further German actions against the Jews.  From the non-reaction in Germany and Europe immediately following Kristallnacht, it can be seen that both the German and London public did not agree with what occurred on November ninth and tenth, yet neither group took any action to stop further measures from being taken against the Jews.

United States of America, 1938

No man can look on the scenes witnessed yesterday without shame for the degradation of his species”[30]-New York Times

Compared to the somewhat muted reactions in Europe, Americans showed an increased amount of shock and horror at the events taking place in Germany.  A telegraph from the American Embassy in Berlin claimed that

Stories of violence, ill-treatment, and arrest of Jews…come to me hourly.  I was talking with a number of American pressmen and they told me that realizing the gravity of the measures, they had reported only events which had been seen by members of their staff.  Anticipate trouble with Goebbels.[31] 

It is clear that the United States’ reporters immediately realized the gravity of Kristallnacht.  A year later the American Jewish Yearbook wrote that Kristallnacht was the “single event, which shocked the American public more profoundly than any other occurrence since the rise of Hitlerism.”[32]  It seems that after Kristallnacht Americans could no longer ignore what was happening to the Jews.  The Germans, too, realized that Kristallnacht would affect the way the Americans hereafter perceived Germany.  German Ambassador to the United States, Hans Heinrich Dieckhoff, wrote to Berlin that,

Until November 10, large and powerful sections of the American people had still remained aloof from this campaign [against the Jews]...today this is no longer so…The recent events are the best thing that could have happened to the Jews because they arouse universal sympathy, and the worst thing that could have happened to Germany.[33] 

The Germans realized that they might have gone too far in their actions taken during Kristallnacht, for fear of conflict with the power of the United States. 

The November 1938 issue of Time magazine wrote that “the civilized world stands revolted by a bloody pogrom against a defenseless people.”[34]   The New York Herald Tribune wrote on November 16, that the response to Kristallnacht was “flabbergasting,” and that they were in receipt of 3,000 telegrams, uncounted letters, and several hundred dollars in checks.  Almost all gave their addresses and asked what they could do.[35]  The American people also responded to Kristallnacht with rallies and demonstrations in response to the press and radio reports, and some swastika flags were burned.[36] Although many Americans expressed disgust and horror over what had occurred in Germany, there were many who seemed unconcerned with the actions overseas.  On November 16, the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that “The present horror in Germany holds the potentialities of an international crisis scarcely less menacing than Czechoslovakia.”[37]  This above sector of society who seemed uninterested in events abroad, played a large role in the study of anti-Semitism, and why the United States government did not forcefully respond to Kristallnacht

While much of the free world’s press and airwaves had been filled with revulsion over what transpired in Germany, this aversion did not give rise to action.[38]  Anti-Semitism played a role in explaining how Americans viewed Kristallnacht.  In July of 1938, delegates from thirty-two countries had met to deal with the refuge crisis during what is now known as the Evian Conference.  However, at the meeting the delegates offered only sympathy, and excuses for not accepting more immigrants.[39]  Perhaps the delegate from Australia summed it up best by quoting, “Australia does not have a racial problem, and it does not want to import one.”  Many Americans in the 1930’s observed Jews within their midst with “varying degrees of fear and mistrust.”[40]  Anti-Semite David Hoggan suggested that the fine levied on German Jews in the wake of Kristallnacht was simply an, “equitable way to keep Jews from getting rich by ‘pocketing vast amounts of money from the German insurance companies’.”[41]  Another issue that led to a rise in anti-Semitism was again the issue of immigration.  The American Jewish Archives wrote that “the final destruction of German Jewry which was set in motion on Kristallnacht made its unplanned contribution to the New World.”[42]  Anthony Read wrote that, “Foreign consulates, especially those of the United States and Britain were besieged daily by seemingly endless lines of desperate men and women seeking visa entries and permits” and that despite this there was a “remarkable disinclination to accept Jewish immigrants.”[43]  The anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States at the time, combined with this anti-Jewish attitude led to waves of anti-Semitic outpourings during the Great Depression of the 1930’s and following into World War II.  The Roper polls, taken in 1938 and 1939, showed that while 95% of Americans disapproved of the German regime, fewer than 9% supported changing the system to allow more refugees into the country.[44]  In response to this anti-immigration sentiment, the American Jewish Yearbook commented in 1939 on an “increase in anti-Jewish agitation at home,” and the “boldness of Jew-baiting groups.”[45]  For the most part, though, November 9 and 10, 1938 “shattered whatever illusions Americans retained as to the fate of German Jews.”[46]  The American Jewish Yearbook wrote that “this wave of indignation against Nazi Germany continued for months, and increased rather than decreased during the period of review.”

What were most striking during this period of the late 1930’s, though, are the newspapers that wrote about a premonition of a “final solution” for the Jews. On November 9, the New York Times quoted Nazi elites in an article saying that

International Jews living in Germany will soon feel the consequences that the Reich will draw from the fact that for the second time in three years a Jew has shot.  The nations of Europe will unite for ruthless war against the international Jewish menace, and against Jewish murder, and against Jewish crime.[47] 

The November 10 issue of the New York Times contained an article entitled, “Berlin Raids Reply to Death of Envoy,” in which they quoted Grynszpan “tearfully” exclaiming “I am not a dog…wherever I have been I have been chased like an animal.”  The report ended with reference to the demonstrations and broken windows, and quoted that “further legal measures against Jews are now being prepared is presumed to be a certainty.”[48]  The Los Angeles Times also had front-page articles concerning Kristallnacht.  It quoted Grynszpan as remarking that “I did it because I loved my parents and the Jewish people who have suffered so unjustly.”  Most shockingly this article quoted that “The Jewish question will now be brought to a solution.”[49]

From this initial American reaction to Kristallnacht it is important to note how many citizens responded with horror to the pogroms, and took action to voice their disapproval.  Kristallnacht became the culmination and dividing line where Germany’s Jews “attempted to find refuge in a world that did not want to understand; to appeal to the nations of the world to help.”[50]  We should keep in mind how the newspapers reflected the idea of harsher punishment, and even a final solution, towards the Jews, and how anti-Semitism was reflected in the government’s inaction.  These initial American reactions will be of utmost importance in tracing the history of remembrance commemorations, based on the conclusion that despite these facts nothing was done by the government to influence Germany to stop their brutal treatment of the Jewish population. 

Reactions in Post-War World

In post-war Germany, not much was being done to commemorate or memorialize Kristallnacht.  After reviewing the November 1948 issues of Die Zeit, Bodemann found that there was not a word on the tenth anniversary.[51]  Post-war commemorations seemed to focus on a communal rather than a public character, usually involving the Jewish members of the community.  These events were smallish, one-event type commemorations as opposed to the large, state-sponsored events that would emerge in the 1970’s.[52]  It is essential to realize that the wider German public paid no interest to the tenth anniversary, and it was only within the Jewish community that small remembrances were taking place.

Robert Abzug writes that for almost twenty-five years after the war, there was the image of the Nazis as evil and the Americans as innocent liberators.  He lists three reasons for this: one being the politics of the Cold War and the need to be seen as an upholder of democratic ideals; the second being that few Americans wished to talk about the genocide; and the third being that no new generation of Americans had yet come to challenge this image.[53]  It is this feeling that the United States played no part in the Holocaust that led many Americans to “forget” Kristallnacht for almost thirty years.  Because they felt that they were not to be blamed, and had done all they could by expressing anti-Nazi sentiments following Kristallnacht, many Americans chose not to remember Kristallnacht on its tenth anniversary.  The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, as well as Time magazine had no mention of the anniversary of Kristallnacht, where all three had previously covered the event just ten years earlier.  One possible reason for this is that other issues were holding front page news at the time, and the war in Palestine was considered “the” Jewish news.  This scenario, along with anti-Semitism, contributed to the reason why Kristallnacht was not honored in post-war American memory.

Anti-Semitism in America

While most Americans changed their attitudes about the Third Reich after Kristallnacht by vociferously expressing their disapproval, there were certain groups that still felt anti-Semitic sentiments past the post-war period.  Deborah Lipstadt writes that,

Holocaust denial found a receptive welcome in the United States during the 1950’s and 1960’s, particularly among individuals known to have strong connections with anti-Semitic publications and extremist groups.[54]

During the 1950’s anti-immigration sentiment was still high in the United States and “after the war, not even the leaders of organized Jewry made any public pronouncements about the necessity of bringing some of the war’s survivors to the United States.”[55]  This situation was best summed up by a New York citizen in 1950 when he quoted, “If it was left to me I’d admit all of the Displaced Persons except the Jewish DPs.”[56]  In his book on anti-Semitism in the United States, Leonard Dinnerstein writes how prominent officials throughout the country received letters from citizens reflecting the intense animosity towards Jews, and how on November 18, only eight days after Kristallnacht, “Idaho senator William Buroh spoke out against relaxing immigration laws to increase refugees admitted to the United States.  As a result of his talk thousands of Americans inundated his office with messages of congratulations and appreciation.”[57]  In the 1960’s, the formation of Vatican II helped deal with religious tensions between Catholics and Jews, but there was still a high correlation between anti-Semitism and devout Christianity.[58]  The Christian Fundamentalists, especially in the South, believed deeply that the United States must continue as a Christian nation.  The Alabama Baptist wrote on December 15, 1938 following Kristallnacht that, “while we are not party to Jewish persecutions, we believe this era of persecution can be used as an opportunity to preach repentance in Israel.”[59]  Many Catholics also showed anti-Jewish sentiment, none more so than Father Coughlin, whose radio address of November 20, 1938 sought to minimize the German barbarities of Kristallnacht by blaming the Jews for imposing Communism on Russia and claiming that Jews were responsible for the economic and social sufferings of Germany following the Treaty of Versailles.[60]  During periods of economic suffering it is easy to blame a certain group for causing the hardship, and in a sense this is what happened to the Jews in the United States.  Although for the most part anti-Semitism began to decline in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, in the Southern part of the United States, anti-Semitism actually increased after the 1954 Supreme Court Decision of Brown vs. the Board of Education.[61]  Southerners attacked homes of any who submitted to the new law, and this included Jews.  Southerners also saw the laws enacted by Germany as a “solution” to the “Jewish problem”, much like the Jim Crow laws were a solution to the “Negro problem” in the South.[62]  It was not until the 1960’s and 1970’s that the United States began to rid itself of the anti-Semitic values prevalent during the first half of the century.  This rise and decline of anti-Semitic attitudes in America is one way to explain the disappearance and then reappearance of Kristallnacht in American (US) commemorative history.

Comparisons of Anniversaries and Commemorations

In order to answer the question of how Kristallnacht was preserved in American memory, I decided to research various newspaper and magazine articles written during the sequential ten-year commemorations of the event.  From the period of 1945-1960, Kristallnacht remained mostly celebrated within the Jewish community in Germany and the United States, whose focus was on family and the inner Jewish environment.[63]  Starting in the sixties though, and culminating in the seventies and eighties, Kristallnacht metamorphasized into a worldwide commemoration, with overtones of a festival against racism.  In the sixties, the Eichmann Trial spurred the American population’s interest in the Holocaust and all of the events surrounding it.  The Civil Rights movement and the war in Vietnam also influenced the resurgence of Kristallnacht in memory, based on their reference points for the ultimate evil.[64]  By looking at these primary accounts throughout the years, I was able to see closely how the progression of American’s memory towards Kristallnacht evolved.  In my research I tried to look at both small and large newspapers, as well as those from different regions of the country to get a feel for what the nation as a whole felt towards Kristallnacht.  My main sources included the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times as well as other newspapers such as the Washington Post and the Christian Science Monitor.  All of these sources, coupled with evidence of the different periods of anti-Semitism throughout American history, helped me to understand the way Kristallnacht was commemorated over time.

Commemorations in 1958

Much like the post-war period and the tenth anniversary of Kristallnacht in 1948, the twentieth anniversary was largely forgotten in the United States as well as German society.  The authors of Der Weg in 1950 Germany claimed that “We have read over one-hundred papers, and the result is that four papers commemorate the twelfth anniversary of the destruction of Jewish houses of worship, Jewish homes, and the liquidation of the European Jewry.”[65]  However, the November 9, 1958 issue of the New York Times described how Rabbis throughout the nation led their congregations in “solemn commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the burning and dynamiting of some six-hundred synagogues.”[66]  Although the paper mentioned the dynamiting of synagogues, they did not explicitly make reference to Kristallnacht.  This short article near the back of the paper also brought up recent Arab-Israeli situations, as well as recent synagogue burnings in Germany.  The next day, however, the New York Times included a fairly large article on Kristallnacht, but talked mostly about the German reaction instead of dealing with American’s reactions to the event.  The article ended with a quote stating that after a poll taken of one-hundred German leaders that, “the German people had learned a great deal since 1938, but perhaps yet not enough.”[67]  Although Americans were not themselves thinking about Kristallnacht, the fact that the Germans were is important after their virtual non-recognition of the event ten years earlier. 

The Los Angeles Times also had a small article on Kristallnacht.  It wrote that “Crystal Night” occurred when Hitler’s henchmen “gutted 177 synagogues, killed 30 Jews, jailed 20,000, and wrecked 7500 Jewish firms.”[68]  The article then went on to explain how in West Berlin meetings were jammed with people openly weeping. What is particularly interesting about this article is how the report failed to compile the correct facts regarding what occurred during Kristallnacht, as well as using such cliché words as “gutted” and “wrecked.”  Much of the information the Associated Press received concerning Kristallnacht in the 1950’s might possibly have come from Hannah Arendt’s book, The Origins of Totalitarianism from 1958, and Allan Bullock’s work, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, published in 1954, as well as the Goebbel’s Diaries which were released in 1948.

Although these two major newspapers contained information concerning the twentieth anniversary, many other sources did not.  Time magazine, which had written a large article in 1938, had nothing to say about the commemoration, and the German newspaper, Die Zeit, contained an article about the 1923 Putsch instead.  It is clear that in the United States in 1958, citizens’ minds were not focused on remembering the grisly events that surrounded Kristallnacht, and therefore chose either not to remember it, or to describe it only in terms of what was happening in Germany.  Those who were writing about it often misconstrued their facts.  In 1958, America was still a country that publicly accepted anti-Semitism, and this is clearly shown in its reaction to this anniversary.

Commemorations in 1963 and 1968

One might expect that the twenty-five year commemoration of Kristallnacht in 1963 to have been widely reported, but in reality there was very little written about it in American newspapers.  William Shirer’s work, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, published in 1960, greatly influenced where much of the new information on Kristallnacht was coming from.  Like the articles from the twentieth anniversary, many of the facts were either mixed up or incorrect, and there seemed to be a trend of writing about Germans who were trying to assuage their guilt over what occurred during Kristallnacht.  Again, the remembrance dealt mostly with actions taking place in Germany, which shows how at the time Americans saw Kristallnacht as a German obligation, and not as something they had to feel responsible for.  An article from the Washington Post wrote that a monument was created on a site where one of the forty Jewish synagogues was burned down during Kristallnacht.[69]  The piece went on to remark that Kristallnacht marked the beginning of the Nazi extermination of Jews in Germany.  Again it is interesting to note how the Post claimed only forty synagogues were burned, while in reality it was close to two-hundred.  The next day there was also a small article in the back of the newspaper that talked about the memorial services throughout Germany. 

The November 11, 1963 article of the Christian Science Monitor also contained information about Kristallnacht in relation to the 1918 proclamation of the German Republic as well as the 1923 Nazi Putsch.  This article also claimed that 36 Jews were killed during Kristallnacht, while more than 200 were actually killed.  The piece concluded with a quote stating that

Today’s Germans know that post-war compensation cannot eradicate what happened between 1933-1945, but it is a significant start…and there is as little anti-Semitism in West Germany today, as in Britain or the United States.[70] 

It is interesting to note that although some of the smaller papers covered the anniversary of Kristallnacht neither the New York Times nor the Los Angeles Times had any information regarding the anniversary.  Perhaps this can show us another facet of American memory, if we look at what was going on in the country at the time.  Issues with the Civil Rights movement and the threat of Communism from abroad held front page news, and Kristallnacht was not seen as relevant enough at the time for us to remember.

The thirty year anniversary in 1968 held much the same result as that of 1963.  The New York Times had the most extensive article commemorating Kristallnacht, in which it related the events of “Crystal Night” when “Nazi mobs burned 191 synagogues, killed 36 Jews, and arrested 20,000 and sent them to concentration camps.”[71]  A November 10 article in the New York Times wrote that “in West Germany, many newspapers devoted an entire page to the anniversaries,” while this article was buried in the back and only a few lines.[72]  It is interesting also to observe how the facts were misconstrued.  The 1968 article is more factually correct than articles from 1963 in that it claims the commonly known number of synagogues burned, in addition to the number of Jews sent to concentration camps, but it still did not get all the details right.  The Los Angeles Times issue contained an article about a woman relating the story of her father from November 9, 1938, but it said nothing about the anniversary or the commemoration of Kristallnacht.[73]  Neither the Washington Post nor Die Zeit in Germany had anything about the commemoration of Kristallnacht

From looking at the commemorations of 1963 and 1968 we can see a definite pattern emerge.  It seems as if the country is gradually taking off its blindfold towards what occurred during the Holocaust.  In 1963, the tide of anti-Semitism was just starting to fade from the intense proportions of the post-war period, as the United State got back on its feet economically.  More facts became clear and articles were appearing that were not seen in 1958.  This breakthrough in the mid-sixties led the way to the boom in commemorations of Kristallnacht in the seventies and eighties.

Commemorations in 1978

The forty-year anniversary of Kristallnacht saw a much broader and wider remembrance of the commemoration date.  For the first time many of these articles dealt explicitly with Nazi guilt and as Bodemann put it, “It is quite clear that after years of neglect and years of silence, the world has become ‘holocaust conscious’.”[74]  Many of the articles in 1978 recounted stories of Jews who had lived through Kristallnacht, which gave the stories a more personal feel.  The November 10 issue of Allgemeine quoted,

We still hear the crashing and splintering of the inventory of Jewish stores.  We are still pursued by the hostile fire of burning synagogues.  Full of shame do we remember 9 November, 1938, the day on which the annihilation of the Jewish people began.[75]

It is interesting to note how these later articles moved away from the small, scantly detailed articles of past commemorations. 

A 1978 Washington Post article explained how many people were trying to cope with Kristallnacht and what it stood for.  Chancellor Schmidt in Germany, as well as other leaders, sought to combine three themes:  First, widespread German guilt; second, a certain degree of innocence for others; and third, lessons that young people must learn from the historical experience.[76]  From statements like these, it is clear that the world was becoming “holocaust conscious,” and was finally ready to assume responsibility as well as talk about the horrors associated with Kristallnacht.  The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times both covered the 1978 commemoration by looking at the prevalence of German guilt towards the event.  The New York Times wrote that Chancellor Schmidt acknowledged the “German heritage of the guilty” on the fortieth anniversary of the start of the Jewish Holocaust.[77] 

Although it seems as if most papers were writing about German guilt towards Kristallnacht, there were a few scenes of anti-Semitism in German towns.  Signs such as “A dead Jew is a good Jew” and “The lie of the gas chambers” were hung on various houses throughout Germany.  Despite this display, a poll taken by the Christian Science Monitor claimed that 91% of German citizens would not vote for a man like Hitler today.[78]  Nearly all of the articles written in 1978 got the facts concerning the events correct, and for the first time since the actual event Die Zeit devoted several pages to the commemoration of Kristallnacht.[79]

The commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of Kristallnacht shows us that indeed the world was becoming more aware of past events surrounding the Holocaust.  There were larger numbers of, and more detailed articles surrounding the anniversary, as well as an increased desire to present correct factual evidence.  For the first time, papers were writing about a sense of guilt associated with Kristallnacht instead of just relaying what occurred.  Although the fortieth anniversary in 1978 signaled a large breakthrough in increased awareness of the American public, it was not until 1988 and the fiftieth anniversary celebration that Americans came to terms with their own role in allowing the Holocaust to occur.

Commemorations in 1988

The fiftieth anniversary of Kristallnacht created a huge reaction in the United States as well as abroad.  The revival of commemorative events in 1978, and especially in 1988, cannot be separated from the broader international revival of Holocaust memory, and the interest of political figures in the commemoration.[80]  Whereas before articles had dealt mostly with what was occurring in Germany, articles in 1988 attempted to glorify and magnify the event to the extreme.  The November 14 issue of the US News and World Report called Kristallnacht, “the night that shattered humanity”.  For the first time in fifty years, the United States and her citizens began to commemorate the Kristallnacht pogrom at the national level.  In the 1980’s, Martin Gilbert’s work The Holocaust, published in 1986, as well as Mendelsohn’s volumes on the Holocaust influenced these new ideas.

The Washington Post wrote that “candles burned and bells tolled across the United States in emotional memorials.”[81]  The Manhattan service in New York was one of hundreds of Kristallnacht observances in the United States.  This was the largest commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust up to that time.  In Berlin also, there were over 10,000 individual acts of commemoration, all filled with “frenzied activity and tension.”[82]  The Christian Science Monitor also commented on the unprecedented wave of commemorative events throughout the United States. 

It is interesting to note that although the less-circulated newspapers talked about commemorative events in the United States, many of the larger ones reflected mostly on the commemorations in Germany.  Although these articles were larger and more numerous than on previous occasions they still tended to focus primarily on German reactions.  What appeared to be different in 1988, however, were the more liberal attitudes these papers took in reflecting about what people were saying concerning Kristallnacht.  The New York Times largely covered events occurring in Frankfurt, Germany, and stated, “The remembrance of the event fifty years ago and the will to keep alive the historical truth are and remain for us a matter of the highest social concern.”[83]  It is clear that Germans as well as Americans were concerned with the collective memory of the public, and deemed Kristallnacht an event worth remembering.  The Los Angeles Times had an article observing the fiftieth anniversary of the event that ushered in the Holocaust.  This article looked mostly at the commemoration in Germany and how Chancellor Kohl asserted that the Jews were now fully integrated into German society.[84]  Although this article dealt mostly with Germany, there was a small paragraph at the end which detailed how Rabbi Avi Weiss of New York and two other Jewish activists reenacted the Nazi practice of forcing Jews to wash the streets of Vienna with toothbrushes, showing that although the large newspapers were focused mainly on issues abroad, the commemoration in the United States was large enough to receive notice.

These large papers also showed a deeper psychological view towards the Holocaust.  The “View” section in the Los Angeles Times wrote that,

It is apparent that the Holocaust is a catastrophe that continues to cause new problems, disturbing relationships in a generation that was not alive at the time, paradoxically offering hope and despair, shame and inspiration for the present and the future.[85]

 Before 1988, nothing of this sort had been written concerning the psychological aspects of the Holocaust, which shows an increased awareness in what the Holocaust left us as a legacy. 

It is interesting how the fiftieth anniversary exhibited the first major, national interest in the remembrance of Kristallnacht.  The November 14, 1988 article of Newsweek magazine called Kristallnacht “a memory of hell.”  Although it was honorable that so many people were finally commemorating Kristallnacht, it created certain conflicts within the Jewish sector of society.  Although there was this huge outpouring during the period of the eighties, many Jews began to question if Kristallnacht should be a national event, or instead remain a day of remembrance within the Jewish community.[86]  In early years as we have noted, commemorations were initiated and administered by Jews themselves.  Starting in 1988 however, with the rise of public interest, Jews could even be barred from active participation in new state commemorations.[87]  An example of this is Heinz Galinski’s (a prominent Jewish activist in Germany) request to speak before the Bundestag, being turned down in 1988 by the speaker, Philip Jenninger, who wanted his own speech to be at the center of the official commemoration.[88]

On November 9, 1989 the Berlin Wall fell, reuniting East and West Germany.  Although many Jews feared that this date would take over as an all-German National Day, their fears were unfounded.  Bodemann claims that there are two reasons for this, one being the objection of Jewish leaders and fear of criticism from the outside world, and the second being that the euphoria surrounding unification waned within a few months.[89]  Kristallnacht remains as a commemorative celebration because it appeals to citizens to individually oppose hatred and violence on the anniversary of Kristallnacht

Preservation of Kristallnacht

Throughout this paper I have attempted to reconstruct the way Americans viewed Kristallnacht over the years.  In this final section, I wanted to look at one final aspect: how we preserve Kristallnacht in our memory.

Holocaust Memorials

Much like the rest of the United States’ commemoration of Kristallnacht, it was not attempted to memorialize the event until the late seventies and eighties.  In New York, designs were submitted for Holocaust memorials in 1948, in 1963 by Louis Kahn, and in 1964 by Nathan Rapaport, but they were never built.  At the time many people believed that “monuments in the park should be limited to events in American history.”[90]  As we have learned, the first three decades following World War II were filled with anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic attitudes, where many did not want to remember the gruesome history of the past.  Washington Post writer Wolf von Eckard wrote in a 1968 response to Louis Kahn’s design for a New York memorial to the Holocaust:

No one can conceive of a memorial to six million victims of cold, technically and beurocratically efficient genocide as anything but an abstraction.  We can mourn the event, we can be haunted by it, but we cannot possibly understand or identify with it.[91]

In the eighties though, many people began to worry that if history was not preserved, future generations might not remember it at all.  Alex Krieger, an architect in Boston, commented that, “We must build such a memorial for all of the generations to come, who by distance from the actual events and people, will depend on it to activate memory.”[92] 

On September 27, 1979 a charter was submitted to President Jimmy Carter recommending the establishment of a “living memorial.”  Fourteen years later, on April 22, 1993 The National Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. was opened by President Bill Clinton.  The three main goals of the Museum are: to preserve the memory of the Holocaust for future generations, to teach lessons about how being a bystander is to share in the guilt, and to demonstrate the applicability of the moral lessons learned.[93]  All events, including Kristallnacht, are now preserved inside the museum for generations to come that can learn and remember.

Today, nearly every major American city is home to at least one, if not more, memorials commemorating aspects of the Holocaust.  What each specific city chooses to memorialize depends on who commissioned the monument, under what financial conditions the project was undertaken, and in what context it was applied.[94]  James Young writes that, “In America, the motives for memory of the Holocaust are as mixed as the population at large, the reasons variously lofty and cynical, practical and aesthetic.”[95]  In Denver, the Holocaust is memorialized in Babi Yar Memorial Park.  The museum in Dallas has a boxcar entryway, much like one the Jews traveled in on the way to concentration camps.  Los Angeles has the Jewish Federation’s Martyr’s Memorial and Holocaust Museum, the Museum of Tolerance, and black granite columns in Pan Pacific Park.  San Francisco holds George Segal sculptures memorializing the event.  All of these different cities choose to memorialize the Holocaust in their own specific way.

Information over Time

The preservation of Kristallnacht in memory in Holocaust memorials has allowed historians a means of evaluating and studying the event more than ever before.  Because of this fact, new information has recently come out concerning Kristallnacht.  Arthur Miller’s play Broken Glass takes its title from Kristallnacht.  The play projects the “agony of the Holocaust and related issues of moral responsibility onto unhappy lives of an American Jewish couple struggling with their ethnic identity in the 1930s.”[96]  New information regarding the United States’ non-involvement during and after Kristallnacht was summarized in David Wyman’s, The Abandonment of the Jews.

The Nazis were the murderers, but we were the all too passive accomplices…substantial commitment to rescue almost certainly could have saved several hundred thousand of them, and done so without compromising the war effort.[97]

This new information, and goal of preserving the Holocaust, allowed historians to discuss issues that had never been brought up before.  Some historians also claim that November 9 and 10, 1938 was a “homosexual Kristallnacht,” and that Grynzspan and vom Rath were actually homosexual partners.[98]  An internet website also explicated on this idea, and went even further claiming that much of the preceding events to Kristallnacht were also related to homosexuality.  They claim that on the “night of the long knives,” Hitler ordered 2000 of his SA to be murdered for the crime of being homosexual.[99]  These theories give rise to new debates over Kristallnacht, furthering research and understanding of the event.


From my research, I have concluded that there is a significant pattern that emerged in the study of Kristallnacht commemorations over the years.  After the initial outpouring of shock and horror that occurred in the United States following Kristallnacht in 1938, there followed a period of almost thirty years of non-recognition.  Kristallnacht was not represented in the 1940’s because of America’s involvement in World War II as well as in dealing with a post-war economy.  In the 1950’s the pattern of anti-Semitism and anti-immigration emerged, so any information press reports gave, involved what was occurring specifically in Germany.  Also, in the 1940’s and 1950’s Americans were not yet willing to replay the grisly horrors associated with the Holocaust.  In the 1960’s more articles began to appear on Kristallnacht because of a decline in anti-Semitic attitudes, but still most of the articles dealt with German guilt, and America was still not yet willing to see themselves as playing any role in the Holocaust.  A large change occurred in the seventies as a surge in material emerged.  This was due partly to the end of the Vietnam War and to the Civil Rights movement, which turned Kristallnacht into a festival against racism.  This change in the seventies led up to the boom in the eighties that culminated with the fiftieth anniversary in 1988.  For the first time in fifty years the press dealt with how Americans felt about Kristallnacht and commemorations in our own country occurred throughout the nation.  A new generation had finally come around that was willing to accept guilt for the United States’ non-intervention after Kristallnacht, and did not place the guilt fully on Germany.  

I feel that this pattern in history is important for several reasons.  Firstly, it is the historian’s job to look for patterns in history and to apply them in order to prevent certain mistakes from happening again.  On November 9, 1978 about 150 students from Kappa Alpha and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternities at the University of Florida gathered in front of the Jewish fraternity and shouted expressions like “F___ the Jews” and “Your mother was bright but she was a lampshade.”[100]  It is events like these that make me as a historian want to change the path of the future.  If we could spread the message of Kristallnacht and preach tolerance, perhaps ignorant remarks like these will not be made anymore.  We have the power to change the future, and by realizing that it took fifty years to live up to our responsibility, we can possibly minimize this during future events.  I believe that the legacy Kristallnacht has left us also needs to be taught in the classroom.  The Holocaust is rarely taught in anyway other than as a German event.  In most high-school textbooks, Kristallnacht is nothing more than a side blurb to history.  If we can teach students that the United States had a chance to respond and did not, we might be able to influence the way future generations take action.  It is important to teach the whole of history, and not just look at the Holocaust and the events surrounding it as something specifically “German.”  By looking at the pattern represented by the history of our memory towards Kristallnacht, future generations can learn that it is important not to forget, and keep alive the memory of one of the most tragic events in history.  So in this respect, not only is Kristallnacht one of the most important events in our modern history, it is also an event that allows us to see the plethora of the American mind, and how we remember.

[1] Michal Bodemann, ed., “Reconstructions of History,” in Jews, Germans, Memory (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996), 181.

[2] The History Net, “Kristallnacht,”  <http://www.history1900s.about.com/library/holocaust> (February 2000).

[3] Lyman Letgers, Western Society After the Holocaust ( Boulder: Westview, 1983), 46.

[4] Bodemann, Reconstructions, 189.

[5] “A Homosexual Holocaust,” <http://www.mtsu.edu/~baustin/knacht.html> (July 1997).

[6] Theodor Adorno, “Was bedeutet: Aufarbeitung der Vergangenheit” from his Eingriffe (Frankfurt, 1963), 125-46.

[7] Walter Pehle, ed., November, 1938: From Kristallnacht to Genocide  (New York: Berg, 1991), 117.

[8] Martin Kitchen, Illustrated History: Germany (Cambridge: University Press, 1996), 273.

[9] Bodemann, Reconstructions, 188.

[10] Pehle, November 1938, 126.

[11] Letgers, Western Society, 43.

[12] Bodemann, Reconstructions, 112.

[13] Pehle, November 1938, 53.

[14] Pehle, November 1938, 56.

[15] Pehle, November 1938, 76.

[16] Gerald Schwab, The Day the Holocaust Began (New York: Praeger, 1990), 21.

[17] David Fischer and Anthony Read, The Nazi Night of Terror (New York: Random House, 1989), 68.  From the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg: Transcripts and Documents in Evidence, Trials of the Major War Criminals, p.1816-PS. 

[18] Leonard Dinnerstein, Antisemitism in America (New York: Oxford 1994), 116.  Quoted from Wyman, Paper Walls, 73.

[19] Schwab, The Day, 31.

[20] Pehle, November 1938, 123.

[21] Letgers, Western Society, 44.  Information gathered from Nuremburg Doc. PS-1816.

[22] Schwab, The Day, 29.  As accounted by Herman Goering during the Nuremburg Trials.

[23] Bodemann, Reconstructions, 210.

[24] Letgers, Western Society, xiii.

[25] John Mendelsohn, The Holocaust: The Crystal Night Pogrom v. 3 (New York: Garland, 1982), 246.

[26] Letgers, Western Society, 72.

[27] Manchester Guardian, 9 November 1938.

[28] Manchester Guardian, 10 November 1938.

[29] Manchester Guardian, 11 November 1938.

[30] New York Times, 11 November 1938.

[31] Mendelsohn, The Holocaust, 194.

[32] American Jewish Yearbook, November 1939, 59.

[33] Read, Kristallnacht, 154.  From Ambassador Dieckhoff’s report in Documents on German Foreign Policy.

[34] Time, November 1938.

[35] Schwab, The Day, 39.

[36] Read, Kristallacht, 152. 

[37] Read, Kristallnacht, 155.  From Philadelphia Inquirer, 16 November 1938.

[38] Schwab, The Day, 33.

[39] Michael Berenbaum, The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as told in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (Boston: Little & Brown, 1993), 49.

[40] Robert Abzug, America Views the Holocaust, 1933-1945 (Boston: Bedford, 1999), 52.

[41] Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (New York: Free Press, 1993), 71.  From Hoggan, The Forced War, 156.

[42] American Jewish Archives, November 1988, 75.

[43] Read, Kristallnacht, 211.

[44] Berenbaum, The World Must Know, 57.

[45] American Jewish Yearbook, November 1939, 120.

[46] Abzug, America Views, 54.

[47] New York Times, 9 November 1938.

[48] New York Times, 10 November 1938.

[49] Los Angeles Times, 9 November 1938.

[50] Letgers, Western Society, 53.

[51] Bodemann, Reconstructions, 185.

[52] Bodemann, Reconstructions, 191.

[53] Abzug, America Views, 207.

[54] Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust, 65.

[55] Dinnerstein, Anti-Semitism, 161.

[56] Dinnerstein, Anti-Semitism, 161.

[57] Dinnerstein, Anti-Semitism, 119.

[58] Dinnerstein, Anti-Semitism, 162.  From Kenneth E. Burnham, John F. Connors, and Richard C. Leonard, “Religious Affiliation, Church Attendance, Religious Education, and Student Attitudes Toward Race,” Sociological Analysis, 30 (Winter, 1969), 243.

[59] Dinnerstein, Anti-Semitism, 111.

[60] Dinnerstein, Anti-Semitism, 116.

[61] Dinnerstein, Anti-Semitism, 175.

[62] Abzug, America Views, 53.

[63] Bodemann, Reconstructions, 211.

[64] Abzug , American Views, 207.

[65] Bodemann, Reconstructions, 193.  From Der Weg, 17 November, 1950.

[66] “Sermons Recall Nazi Dynamiting,” New York Times, 9 November, 1958.

[67] “Germans Examine Jewish Relations: Anti-Semitism is Appraised on Twentieth Anniversary of Pogrom by Nazis,” New York Times, 10 November, 1958.

[68] “Germans Held Failing to Accept Nazi Guilt,” Los Angeles Times, 10 November, 1958. 

[69] “Germans Mark Synagogue Site,” Washington Post, 9 November, 1963.

[70] Emlyn Williams, “Jews See New German Face,” Christian Science Monitor, 11 November 1963.

[71] “West Germany Marks Nazi’s Night of Terror,” New York Times, 10 November 1968.

[72] “Jews Mark Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Opening of Nazi Terror,” New York Times, 10 November 1968.

[73] “Daughter of Nazi Vicitm Tells Terror,” Los Angeles Times, 10 November 1968.

[74] Bodemann, Reconstructions, 184.

[75] Bodemann, Reconstructions, 194.  From Allgermeine, 10 November, 1978.

[76] “Germany Recalls Horror of Nazi Crystal Night,” Washington Post, 10 November 1978.

[77] “Holocaust Guilt Remains,” New York Times, 9 November 1978.

[78] Elizabeth Pond, “West Germans Recall Hitler’s grim ‘Night of Glass’,” Christian Science Monitor, 10 November, 1978.

[79] Bodemann, Reconstructions, 185.

[80] Bodemann, Reconstructions, 204.

[81] “Kristallnacht Commemorated by Jews Across the Nation,” Washington Post, 10 November 1988.

[82] Bodemann, Reconstructions, 191.

[83] “In Germany, Tears and Mourning for a Dark Night,” New York Times, 10 November 1988.

[84] “Germanys, Austria Mark ‘Crystal Night,’” Los Angeles Times, 10 November 1988.

[85] “Shadows of the Holocaust: Reflections by the American and European Postwar Generations,” Los Angeles Times, 9 November 1988.

[86] Timothy Aeppel, “Facing Shadows of the Past: Germany Marks Jewish Persecution,” Christian Science Monitor, 9 November 1988.

[87] Bodemann, Reconstructions, 211.

[88] Bodemann, Reconstructions, 211.  From Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 29 October, 1988.

[89] Bodemann, Reconstructions, 214.

[90] James Young, The Texture of Memory: Holocaust Memorials and Meaning (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), 292.

[91] Wolf von Eckardt, “A Memorial to Slain Jews” Washington Post, November 19, 1968.

[92] Young, The Texture of Memory, 285.

[93] Jeshajahu Weinburg, The Holocaust Museum in Washington (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1995), 18.

[94] Young, The Texture of Memory, 299.

[95] Young, The Texture of Memory, 284.

[96] Hilene Flanzbaum, ed., The Americanization of the Holocaust (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), 129.  From Arthur Miller’s, Broken Glass, (New York: Penguin, 1994).

[97] Abzug 211.  From David Wyman’s The Abandonment of the Jews, 1984.

[98] Doscher Hans-Jurgen, Reichkristallnacht: Die November-Pogrome 1938 (Berlin: Ullstein, 1988).

[99] http://www.geocities.com/~infotrue/pagethr.html#night

[100] Dinnerstein, Anti-Semitism, 235.

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