Kristallnacht: The Night of Broken Glass
The Nazi pogroms against the Reich’s Jews in November 1938 were carried out before the watchful eyes of the public. Local firemen protected adjacent “Aryan” property from the flames of burning synagogues, and countless German onlookers witnessed, and sometimes photographed, the brutalization of their Jewish neighbors. Crowds assembled to watch the destruction of Jewish businesses and synagogues and the deportation of Jews to concentration camps. Some individuals attempted to help the victims, while others sought to enrich themselves with stolen property. Learn more from the Museum's exhibition Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration and Complicity in the Holocaust.
The world press too witnessed the destruction and transmitted words and images to their readers. More than a thousand editorials appeared in American newspapers deploring the violence. Political and religious leaders in western Europe and the United States condemned the Nazi actions, and public opinion turned decisively against Hitler’s Germany. This did not, however, result in any change in American refugee or foreign policy.