“Crystal Night” is the name that’s been given to the night of 9-10 November 1938. In almost all large German cities and some smaller ones that night, store windows of Jewish shops were broken, Jewish houses and apartments were destroyed, and synagogues were demolished and set on fire. Many Jews were arrested, some were beaten, and some were even killed. The “Reich Crystal Night” (Reichskristallnacht) was one of the most shameful events of National Socialist Germany. Although the Jews suffered initially, the greatest harm was ultimately done to Germany and the German people. Even people who are sympathetic to National Socialism cannot understand how this event could have happened. Julius Streicher, the so-called “number one Jew baiter” [note 1] for example, was shocked when he first learned about the demonstrations and destruction the next morning.
The all-important question is: Who was responsible for the incident? It is generally accepted, especially by contemporary historians, that the Nazi gang organized and carried out the pogrom, and that the chief instigator was Propaganda Minister Dr. Joseph Goebbels. The truth of the matter is that Adolf Hitler was so disgusted by the incident that he forbade anyone from discussing the matter in his presence. Dr. Goebbels complained that he would now have to explain this terrible affair to the German people and the world, and that he simply did not know what kind of credible explanation to give. If he had actually been responsible for the Crystal Night, he surely would have had a well-prepared explanation. The explanation he gave on the morning of the 10th was extremely unconvincing and was generally not believed by the German public. During my study of this subject, which resulted in my book on the Crystal Night, Feuerzeichen, I found many facts which do not agree with the generally accepted thesis. On the contrary, the evidence which I have found gives a completely different picture.
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