out a piece of notebook paper and
answer the following question:
Many observers of the Holocaust wonder
why more Jews did not leave Germany
when persecution began and got worse.
What circumstances would cause you
personally to leave the US? What would you
have to take with you in order to leave?
1936, Jews are banned from all
October, 1938: Jews must have a large J
printed on their passport.
November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht
April, 1939: Almost all Jewish businesses
and companies have closed. Separation from
German population almost complete.
September 1, 1939: Germany invades
Poland. As the war commences, they begin to
funnel Jews into ghettos.
Why did it happen?
• Growing discontent or apathy
toward Jewish population
• Financial incentives for the Nazi
• The assassination of a German
official in France by a Jewish
In German, means “Night of
Pogrom: A violent riot aimed
at massacre or persecution of
an ethnic or religious group
news of the assassination reaches
Germany and Austria, riots begin to break out.
• Goebbels: “the Führer has decided that...
demonstrations should not be prepared or organized by
the party, but insofar as they erupt spontaneously, they
are not to be hampered.”
SA and SS officers don plain clothes and
begin to take sledgehammers to Jewish
businesses and set fire to synagogues.
Firefighters are told only to prevent the spread
of fire to other buildings.
7500 Jewish stores destroyed
throughout Germany and Austria
297 synagogues destroyed
(almost all that Germany had)
30,000 Jewish men detained and
taken to concentration camps
91 killed in the two days of rioting
Jewish community fined 1 billion
In Vienna, the pogrom is
complete. 94 synagogues
Documents show high numbers of
rape and suicide in the aftermath
of the pogroms.
Interior of a destroyed synagogue. November
11, 1938. Courtesy of www.yadvashem.com
S.S. soldiers running through the streets during Kristallnacht. Image courtesy of
Synagogue burns in Siegen, Germany. Credit: Pictorial History
Jewish shop owner after Kristallnacht. Image
courtesy of www.telegraph.co.uk
Citizens of Rostock watch as a local
synagogue burns down the morning
after Krystallnacht. Image courtesy of
the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
For weeks after
Kristallnacht, a program of
“Aryanization” begins as
Jewish holdings are
transferred to Aryan hands.
Marks a turning point in
German treatment of the
Jews. Nazi party officials
encouraged by passivity of
German population during
First mass incarceration of
Jews due only to their
ethnicity. 30,000 Jewish men
sent to concentration camps
across German territory.
Roll call at Buchenwald Concentration Camp after Kristellnacht.
Image courtesy of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Listen to Gerald Liebenau’s testimony and
answer the following question on a piece of
What do you think he means, “it became
Kristallnacht, the process of
Jews moved to “temporary” ghettos prior to
their eventual deportation.
Deportation would never occur – Jews are
instead moved to concentration camps like
Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Krakow.
Ghettos run by Judenrat, a Jewish council of
• Communicated with Nazi leadership
• Organized work parties
• Distributed food and water
The Warsaw Ghetto –
380,000 people. Average
of 9.2 people per room.
• Contains 30% of the
population of the city of
Warsaw and occupies 2.4% of
the city’s area.
Ghettos formed in 1940.
In 1942, mass
deportations of Jews in the
By 1943, nearly every
dissolved, inhabitants sent
to extermination camps.
Children say goodbye to their parents during deportation. Image courtesy
of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.