In the night of November 9 to 10, 1938, a large-scale and violent anti-Jewish protest took place in Germany and Austria. Jewish shops and homes were demolished and looted, synagogues were put on fire and individual Jews were mistreated and some even murdered. The protest had evolved into a pogrom. The night would enter the history books as the Kristallnacht (Night of Crystals).
The pogrom will be discussed in this article but special attention will be drawn to cause and consequence for this occurrence; an important turning point in the manner the Jews were treated by the Nazis. Whenever the genesis of the Holocaust Ė the systematic extermination of an estimated 5.1 to 6 million Jews Ė is discussed, the Kristallnacht cannot be left unspoken.
In this article, an attempt will be made to show the important role of the Kristallnacht in the history of the Holocaust. In order to achieve this, an image will be drawn of how the Jewish question was dealt with prior to and after the Kristallnacht. Certain measures that were taken in the aftermath of this pogrom form an important foundation for the organized mass murder, the EndŲsung der Judenfrage (Final solution of the Jewish problem) that was undertaken from 1941 onwards.