Kristallnacht refers to the series Jewish persecution throughout Nazi Germany and some parts of Austria in 1938. It is also referred as the Night of Broken Glass. It was devised by Joseph Goebbels, a minister in Hitler's government. The homes of Jews were raided, as well as their shops, towns and villages. Their buildings were destroyed using sledge hammer, scattering pieces of smashed windows in the streets, hence the name the Night of broken Glasses. The event lead to the death of many Jews and more than 1000 Synagogues were burned while a quarter of all the Jewish men in Germany were captured and concentrated in Nazi camps where they were tormented for months. The Nazi propaganda blamed the Jews when Germany lost in the First World War. This led to introduction of anti- Jewish policies by the Hitler's regime which led to the persecution of Jews in Germany. The anti-Jewish laws excluded Jews from German political and social life. (Kristallnacht, 1)
The exclusion of Jews from Germany's political and social life made many of them to leave Germany for other places in the world. However, they could not just settle anywhere because of other restrictions in some countries. The event of Kristallnacht also led complete disarmament of the German Jews through an order to confiscate them. Violence against the Jews in the concentration camps continued even after it was officially stopped by Goebbels. However, not all non- Jewish Germans were supporting this callous behavior. Some resented this act as they watched helplessly behind the curtains, while others went to an extent of helping the Jews. (Gerhard 10)
Holocaust was the systematic sponsored program by the Nazi Germany that led to the persecution and murder of about six million European Jews during the Second World War. The German authorities considered the Jews as an inferior race. Most European Jews lived in nations that Nazi Germany would influence or occupy during the Second World War. The Nazi policy to persecute and murder the Jews spread throughout Europe. This persecutions and genocide were conducted in stages. The initial stage was the removal of Jews from the civil society, which was followed by Kristallnacht. The German authority continued to oppress the Jew by putting them in the Concentration camps. In the camps they were subjected to slave labor where they died of exhaustion and diseases. Some Jews were systematically killed using chambers filled with poisonous gases. (The Holocaust 1)
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Kristallnacht preceded Holocaust and was a very important precursor to the Holocaust. During Kristallnacht, a stable foundation for oppressing the Jews was established on the basis of racial discrimination. It was during this period that the Nazi policy against the Jews was spreading across Europe. The Nazis stirred up hatred between the Jews and other European races. When the Second World War broke, many Europeans had a common enemy to fight, and the enemy was the Jews.
The Nazis had invented the Concentration camps during Kristallnacht's persecutions. The camps existed for many years and this can be seen as a road maker to holocaust. When the war broke, the Germans targeted the camps for large scale massacre. (Adam 3)
From the above evidence, it very clear that Kristallnacht played a significant role as a precursor to the Holocaust which can not be erased in the history of the Jews.
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