Book Reviews

The Night of Broken Glass: Eyewitness Accounts of Kristallnacht

        On the evening of November 9th,1938,the pinnacle of the Nazi pogrom had reached its zenith;”Kristallnacht” (German for “crystal night”) had commenced.

        This was a move motivated by SA paramilitary forces and non-Jewish civilians to destroy Jewish businesses, homes, and synagogues throughout Germany and Austria; German forces looked on without providing any intervention. In just under 2 days,91 Jews were slain; 30,000 were arrested and deported to concentration camps; 1,000 synagogues were burned (1,000!) and 7,000 Jewish businesses were destroyed in just 2 days!


        This book is a detailed and well-written examination of these terrifying accounts; they are eyewitness testimony from the Jewish population who survived this catastrophic ordeal. One primary cause for this event was the assassination of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath by the German-born Polish Jew

        Herschel Grynszpan; it has been suggested that this execution of the German diplomat was in response to the persecution of Polish Jews in Germany. Nonetheless, the Nazis launched this action into their contribution of the Final Solution.This book is swollen with unholy testimony that the Jewish population suffered under these actions; however, it is deeply personal. From the riots and the sound of broken glass(the inevitable result of windows being smashed from synagogues and private businesses) filling the air, to the thunderous roars of cannon fire that obliterated the landscape and every single residence that stood helplessly in the way. This book is also a heroes tale; it is the story of determination, strength, perseverance, and an undying will to preserve a race, a language, a faith and a nation. It is, also in my view, an efficacious testament to the infancy of  the Holocaust. This “Greatest Generation” is passing quickly. It is imperative that we read and study their odyssey. It is NOT an option that we preserve their struggle and let this book be an investiture to their sacrifice.


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