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The Night of Broken Glass

Paperback By Thomas Karlauf, Uta Gerhardt
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Product Description

November 9th 1938 is widely seen as a violent turning point in Nazi Germany’s assault on the Jews.

  An estimated 400 Jews lost their lives in the anti-Semitic pogrom and more than 30,000 were imprisoned or sent to concentration camps, where many were brutally mistreated.

  Thousands more fled their homelands in Germany and Austria, shocked by what they had seen, heard and experienced.

  What they took with them was not only the pain of saying farewell but also the memory of terrible scenes: attacks by mobs of drunken Nazis, public humiliations, burning synagogues, inhuman conditions in overcrowded prison cells and concentration camp barracks.

  The reactions of neighbours and passersby to these barbarities ranged from sympathy and aid to scorn, mockery, and abuse.

In 1939 the Harvard sociologist Edward Hartshorne gathered eyewitness accounts of the Kristallnacht from hundreds of Jews who had fled, but Hartshorne joined the Secret Service shortly afterwards and the accounts he gathered were forgotten – until now.

  These eyewitness testimonies – published here for the first time with a Foreword by Saul Friedländer, the Pulitzer Prize historian and Holocaust survivor – paint a harrowing picture of everyday violence in one of Europe’s darkest moments.

This unique and disturbing document will be of great interest to anyone interested in modern history, Nazi Germany and the historical experience of the Jews.

Product Details

Format: Paperback, 360 pages Language: English
Dimension: 22.86cm x 14.73cm x 2.29cm ISBN10: 0745650856
Weight: 454g ISBN13: 9780745650852
Publication Date: 01 Sep 2021 Publisher: Polity Press

About Author

Uta Gerhardt is a German sociologist and professor emeritus at the University of Heidelberg. She studied sociology, philosophy and history at the universiti

Product Reviews


"An exceptional array of eyewitness accounts .


. this fascinating collection honours the Holocaust's victims, as well as the sociologist who preserved their memories."Times Literary Supplement"A fantastic asset for Holocaust historiography."European Review of History"This riveting book prints a collection of 21 eyewitness accounts by German Jews. The value of these testimonies lies above all in their detail and immediacy. Mostly they confirm the picture we already have from other sources, though few are as vivid as these."The Guardian"Provides heartrending testimony of Nazi racial hatred."Tribune"Taken together, these survivors’ voices bring the focus back onto what is essential: human lives, their preservation and loss."Forward Magazine"This collection of eyewitness accounts of the end of Jewish life in Nazi Germanyis most valuable as an undergraduate course reading, where its immediacy andpersonal detail can bring home the horrors which preceded the Holocaust."European History Quarterly"There are few more powerful or moving collections of testimonies from the Jewish victims of the Nazi pogrom of 9-10 November 1938. This is an extraordinary collection that conveys the full extent of Nazi brutality towards Jews even before the 'Final Solution' had begun."Richard J Evans, Regius Professor of history at the University of Cambridge and author of The Third Reich at War"The testimonies about the pogrom of November 9 and 10, 1938 and its sequels, assembled in this volume, describe what the authors deemed to be the height of Nazi barbarism. In reality, these events were but the faintest of preludes to what was about to happen to the Jews in Germany and in occupied Europe. Nonetheless, these reports carry a poignancy of their own that overwhelmingly evokes the suffocating and terror filled atmosphere of Jewish everyday existence in the Reich during those November days and the immediate pre-war months."Saul Friedlander, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945"What sets this anthology, edited by German sociologist Uta Gerhardt and literary agent Thomas Karlauf, apart from other firsthand accounts is the immediacy of the testimonies. All of the accounts reveal the degree to which their authors were traumatized by their experiences."S.

Ross Doughty, Ursinus College


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