Kristallnacht--literally, "Crystal Night"--is usually translated from German as the "Night of Broken Glass"; it refers to the violent anti-Jewish pogrom of November 9 and 10, 1938. The pogrom occurred throughout Germany, which by then included both Austria and the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia. Hundreds of synagogues all over the German Reich were attacked, vandalized, looted, and destroyed. Many were set ablaze. Firemen were instructed to let the synagogues burn but to prevent the flames from spreading to nearby structures. The shop windows of thousands of Jewish-owned stores were smashed and the wares within looted. Jewish cemeteries were desecrated. Many Jews were attacked by mobs of Storm Troopers (SA). At least 91 Jews died in the pogrom.
US Holocaust Memorial Museum