Night Of Broken Glass Remembrance Day
November 9th of each year is a memorial day in Germany called Night of Broken Glass Remembrance Day. It marks the anniversary of the pogrom against German Jews known as Kristallnacht—or literally, “Night of Crystal.” This was a wave of violent anti-Jewish pogroms that began on November 9th, 1938. This violent wave swept through Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia.
This violence was instigated mainly by Nazi officials, the Sturmabteilung (Storm Troopers), and Hitler Youth. This day would only be the beginning of a program that would see the incarceration and death of millions of Jews all across Europe. This day was created to remember that event so that history never repeats itself.
The History Of The Night Of Broken Glass
On November 9th and 10th, the Nazi regime organized a wave of antisemitic violence across Nazi Germany. It was dubbed Kristallnacht or Night of Crystal or Night of Broken Glass, because of all of the shattered glass from the store windows that lined the streets after the wave of violence.
It was purposefully drawn up to look like an unplanned outburst of anger against Jews, but it wasn’t a spontaneous event. It was an event that was carried out by the SS, the SA, and the Hitler Youth. They burned down synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes and businesses, and desecrated Jewish cemeteries. Fire departments and police departments across Germany were told by Nazi leaders to ignore the attacks. As a result, hundreds of Jews would die during Kristallnacht.
The following morning, the police arrested over 30,000 German Jews and sent them to concentration camps in Buchenwald and Dachau. Many German Jews also decided to leave the country on their own, coming to the conclusion that Germany was no longer a place they had a future. Kristallnacht would only be the beginning of an anti-Jewish campaign in Germany that would eventually result in millions of lives being lost.
Observing Night of Broken Glass Remembrance Day
This holiday is observed with somber memorials and special events that highlight the importance of remembering this day for not only the current generation but for future generations as well. After all, those not willing to learn about the past will only end up repeating it. This is why this holiday is important.