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How Was Kristallnacht Carried Out, and Who Was involved? Browse

Map: Synagogues Destroyed during Kristallnacht

Map: Synagogues Destroyed during Kristallnacht

Zeven was one small town among thousands of towns and cities in Germany where Jewish-owned property was destroyed and Jewish people were attacked and humiliated during Kristallnacht. One of the larger cities where the Kristallnacht riots took place was Baden-Baden. –US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Dots represent cities where synagogues were destroyed. Because of map scale, not all cities affected by Kristallnacht can be shown or labeled.

As you can see from this map, Kristallnacht devastated Jewish communities throughout the German Reich. Even Jewish communities in the recently annexed regions of Austria and the Sudetenland and the free city of Danzig were attacked. Zeven is located in the northern part of Germany, near the city of Bremen. Baden-Baden is in the South, not far from Stuttgart.

What does this wide scope of destruction suggest about how Kristallnacht was accomplished?

The high level of consistency of action and the broad geographic scope of the violence suggests that Kristallnacht was centrally planned and coordinated with relatively uniform instructions.

What effect would the mass destruction of synagogues, stores, and businesses have on the Jews of Germany?

Synagogues occupy a central place in Jewish religious and communal life. Their destruction heralded the disintegration of German Jewish spiritual and communal support. The destruction of stores and businesses eliminated one of the mainstays of personal income and security. Without any means of livelihood, many German Jews descended into poverty. A number of families were forced to move in with relatives in crowded apartments and homes. Tens of thousands attempted to flee Germany.

The violence of Kristallnacht was nationwide. What did this mean for Jews in Germany?

Because the violence was nationwide, there was little hope of finding support or refuge elsewhere in Germany. The violence and expropriation of wealth encouraged many Jews in Germany to seek refuge in other countries.