Kristallnacht Paper

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Sam Pashko
History of the Holocaust
Dr. Delaney

In the introduction to Alan E. Steinweis’ book Kristallnacht 1938, he argues that the German citizens attacking Jewish synagogues, businesses, homes, properties and the Jewish people themselves on November 9th, 1938 is important to understand the perspective of German Society and it’s role in the prosecution of Jews perpetrated by the Nazis. It further suggests that the involvement of Germans in the attacks was far more wide spread than just a small group of Nazi and Nazi sympathizers. It included not just German military officers and personnel, but also workers, teenagers and even children. Kristallnacht 1938 is different than other books and publications on the subject of the events that occurred in Germany in November 1938. Its primary focus is more on the individuals committing the attacks rather than the Jewish victims. It also argues against some of the prevailing theories noted in other works about the Kristallnacht. The Kristallnacht is important to understand because it is a major point in the Nazi polices against Jews, which would ultimately lead to the “Final Solution,” which was the elimination of Jews in Europe. It encompassed large organized violence against Jews in Germany throughout the entire country including large cities such as Munich and Berlin as well as small rural communities as well. It also marked the beginning of a policy known as “Aryanization.” This refers to the stealing of confiscation of property and money owned by Jews and redistributing it to non Jewish Germans. This book challenges several ideas that have previously espoused on The Kristallnacht. In other publications about this time period, it has been suggested in that Kristallnacht issued a change of dealing with Jews in Germany. Prior to this event, the strategy of the German Government was a systematic persecution of Jews through laws of discrimination and hardship as opposed to outright violence against Jews.1...
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