CRYSTAL NIGHT: November 9 and 10, 1938 by Rita & Emmanuel Feinermann Thalman

CRYSTAL NIGHT: November 9 and 10, 1938

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A vivid and thoroughly documented account of a little known incident in the annals of Nazi persecutions. Thalman and Feinermann focus their attention on the organized violence unleashed against German Jews following the assassination in Paris of Ernst vom Rath, Secretary at the German Embassy, by a seventeen-year-old Polish Jew. The year was 1938, and according to the authors, ""Crystal Night"" -- named for the thousands of shattered windows in Jewish homes and shops represented a sharp intensification of German anti-Semitic measures -- a kind of dress rehearsal for the ""final solution."" The Germans claimed that the hundreds of Jewish synagogues and stores burnt and plundered on the nights of Nov. 9th-10th were a spontaneous expression of anger by the German people. In fact, the authors show that the savage reprisals were instigated and organized by the Party with the SS and SA in civilian garb carrying out the most sadistic acts. Thalman and Feinermann also look at the disgraceful response to the atrocities evinced by the Western Powers who were unwilling to endanger good relations with Germany by strong protests and further unwilling to heed the desperate pleas for permission to emigrate to England, France and Great Britain. From the reports of eye-witnesses and survivors, Thalman and Feinermann conclude that the German populace often looked on in dismay but were too terrified to say a word -- though the evidence for this is inconclusive and contradictory. A limited but valuable contribution to the dismal history of German Jewish policies during the Third Reich and a bitter indictment of the do-nothing callousness of the Free World.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan