Synagogue from Einbeck Germany. Attacked during Kristallnacht 1938. From Kristallnacht In Einbeck, 2005 a movie produced by Einbeck, Keene’s partner city, for the 2005 Kristallnacht Remembrance.
2012 Kristallnacht Remembrance
We Remember, We Create, We Make a Difference
Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 7 p.m.
The Colonial Theatre
95 Main Street
The November Pogrom
After more than five years of growing Nazi power and persecutions the Kristallnacht pogrom was unleashed against Germany’s Jews on the evening of November 9, 1938. Although portrayed as a "spontaneous" action the pogrom was planned well in advance by a Nazi leadership seeking to create a Germany that was Judenfrei (free of Jews). 1938 had seen a focused increase in anti-Jewish measures accompanied by a growing level of violence. The Nazis, with a war of "race and space" on the horizon, were experimenting with what was possible within German society in dealing with the so-called "Jewish question." What were the limits of the German public? What would they stand for? What might the dangers be?
During the night of November 9-10, 1938, a massive pogrom (state-sponsored anti-Jewish violence) was orchestrated by the Nazi (National Socialist) government throughout Germany and the recently annexed state of Austria. A total of 815 shops, 29 department stores, 171 residences, and 267 synagogues were burned or otherwise destroyed. Ninety-one Jews were killed. The shattered panes of beveled glass that littered sidewalks, most of it coming from the shop windows of Jewish stores, gave the pogrom its name: Kristallnacht or "Night of Broken Glass." In the days that followed, 25-30,000 Jewish men were arrested and taken to Germany's concentration camps.
The passivity with which most German civilians responded to the violence of 1938 signaled to the Nazi regime that the German public was prepared for more radical measures and proved to be an essential turning point in Nazi Germany's persecution of Jews. Kristallnacht represented a threshold moment toward a goal of mass annihilation of the world’s Jews. Kristallnacht marked the Nazis' first centrally organized operation of large-scale, anti-Jewish violence. It also signaled the fateful transfer of responsibility for "solving" the "Jewish Question" to the SS. It served as a prelude to the coming Holocaust.
Dr. Martin Rumscheidt
"I would like to tell you what an incredibly good day it was for me to be among you and to share with you in your labors as teachers of the Holocaust. The warmth with which you received me, the attentiveness with which you listened to me and responded, the challenge and affirmation you gave me and, above all perhaps, the renewed energy and confidence you instilled in me – all this and more makes me profoundly grateful to you. I now have you all as companions, indeed, I would say: guardian angels, on my way. I shall remember my time with you for long and hold you in my thoughts. Let me assure you that I accompany you all on your journey in this important commitment you and I share together. I wish you my best and hope that our paths may cross again, and I may meet the four of you, who were present not 'in the flesh' but certainly 'in spirit.'"
– Dr. Martin Rumscheidt