Fire! Anti-Jewish Terror on „Kristallnacht” in November 1938
ed. by Andreas Nachama, Uwe Neumärker and Hermann Simon, Berlin 2008, 167 p., ISBN 978-3-9811677-5-7
2008 marks the seventieth anniversary of the National Socialists’ anti-Jewish terror in November 1938. The events were trivialized as "Kristallnacht" or "night of the broken glass" by the populace; in academia, researchers have begun to favor the term "November Pogrom."
At the incentive of National Socialist party leaders, members of the SA and SS plundered more than 1200 synagogues and Jewish prayer rooms, as well as thousands of Jewish-owned businesses and homes, on November 9 and 10, 1938. For days to follow, Jewish children, women, and men were hunted and abused as the public looked on. Up to one hundred of them perished directly from these actions, and approximately 30,000 men were sent to concentration camps in the aftermath. The scale of violence marked an undeniable turning point in the lives of Jews in Germany, representing a decisive step towards the extermination of the European Jews.
The exhibit "’Fire!’ Anti-Jewish Terror in November 1938" and this accompanying catalogue contain lesser-known photographs by professional and amateur photographers, taken in 1938 and 1939. Images and essays convey the actions of the perpetrators and the behavior of the public, making clear that the distinction between watching and participating was entirely fluid. The reactions of both victims and foreign actors are also components of this exhibit.
The revised form of the exhibition "Fire!" (2013) has been extended with several new elements. These expansions are documented in the second volume of the catalogue. more