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Kristallnacht Resources

Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, was a series of government-sanctioned attacks against the Jews of Germany and Austria on November 9-10, 1938. Ninety-six Jews were murdered and 25,000-30,000 were arrested and sent to concentration camps. The damage to property was also extensive: thousands of synagogues were attacked, with 267 burned to the ground. Thousands of homes and businesses destroyed with sledgehammers and axes, leaving the streets covered with shards of broken glass–the origin of the name Kristallnacht. Many historians consider this pogrom to be the beginning of the Final Solution.

Online Exhibits

Second Life’s Witnessing History: Kristallnacht – the November 1938 Pogroms [1] is a virtual learning environment which blends archival sound, video and photo material with narrative story-telling. A Second Life browser is required.

Yad Vashem’s  Kristallnacht Exhibition: It Came From Within [2] includes video testimony, documents, and photographs.

Instructional Materials

Ashkenaz House has descriptions, listings, and images of many of the synagogues in Austria and Germany that were burned on Kristallnacht.

Centropa [3]has transcripts of personal stories along with a slideshow.

Encountering the Holocaust through the Arts: Kristallnacht art lesson plan. Appropriate for high school. By the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Keene State College.

Kristallnacht: A Lesson Plan [4] by Nick Holton. Appropriate for high school, can be adapted for younger grades.

Kristallnacht Curriculum [5] by Erica Restum. Appropriate for middle school.

Kristallnacht Teaching themes [6]by Yad Vashem. Appropriate for middle and high school.

Kristallnacht: The Genesis of a Disaster by Morim.org. Appropriate for middle and high school.

Kristallnacht: The Sound of Horror by Morim.org. Appropriate for middle and high school.

Map of Destroyed Synagogues in Germany and Austria [7] by Florida Center for Instructional Technology.

Museum of Tolerance’s Kristallnacht Page [8] has a fact sheet, documents and eyewitness accounts.

The Pool that was Once a Synagogue [9] by Teddy Weinberger.

Yad Vashems’ Kristallnacht ceremony: Shattered and Broken [10] is suitable for middle and high school. It includes a teacher introduction, materials and instruction and a line-by-line ceremony.

Videos

Crystal Night [11], Ashkenaz House’s five minute documentary on the horrors of Kristallnacht. Running time: 5 minutes.

Survivors Remember Kristallnacht [12] by United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Eight survivors describe their experiences on Kristallnacht. Videos may be downloaded and shown. Each video less than ten minutes. Includes transcripts.

Video compliation [13] of personal accounts of Kristallnacht created by United States Holocaust Memorial Foundation and the USC Shoah Foundation Institute. May be downloaded (MP4) and shown in schools and synagogues. Running time: 21 minutes.