Cause and Effect of Kristallnacht
The Holocaust was a great tragedy, but it didn't happen overnight. It was a long process of demeaning Jews as subhuman. This started as early as 1933 when Hitler first came to power. However, Kristallnacht, or The Night of the Broken Glass, was like the dam bursting. It was when the government of Germany encouraged its people to loot and burn Jewish shops, synagogues, and schools. In addition, many Jews were pulled out of their houses in the middle of the night and sent to concentration camps. In some towns so many of the men were sent to the camps that the women and children were forced to clean up the broken glass that littered the streets. Kristallnacht was a very significant point in the Holocaust, and it is important to understand the events leading up to it, and the consequences of it.
The events leading up to Kristallnacht began in 1933 when Hitler came to power. He used the Jewish people as a scapegoat for the rest of Germany. He convinced the people of Germany that the Jews were a scourge and had to be destroyed. Slowly, Germany began putting more and more restrictions on Jews' civil liberties. Burning books by Jewish authors, destroying Jewish art. Aryan were told not to shop in Jewish shops and Jews could not shop in Aryan-owned shops. In 1935 The Nuremberg Race Laws were passed. These stated that Jews could not go to public swimming pools, theaters, schools, etc. In addition Jews were forced to sew a Star-Of-David on their clothes to identify them as Jews. At this point in time, Jews could do very little. Some were arrested just for taking a walk outside.
So at this point in time Jews were very restricted. One Jewish teenager, Herschel Grinszpan, was living in Paris. His father was relocated by the Nazis to Poland. He decided that he was going to assassinate the German ambassador. He went to the embassy, but he was not able to locate his target. So he tried to assassinate Third Secretary Ernst vom Rath instead. Ironically, Rath was an anti-Nazi. Even though Rath was only a minor official,...