Kristallnacht in Fürth

The Night of Broken Glass

“…Fürth did not have the same experience on Crystal Night as Nuremburg did so there wasn’t the same smashing of glass in Fürth."

“My grandparents’ home was not harmed in anyway the way homes and stores were harmed in Nuremburg.

“The Nazis came and knocked on the door, told them to get dressed, they were going into the town square. Apparently, my mom was not dressed in anything particularly warm and one of the officers said 'well you better wear something really warm its gonna be very cold where you’re going.' And so they didn’t live very far from the center of town, from where I believe people were being rounded up and so they walked into the square and at one point my mom said she had to go to the bathroom and so apparently – the women and the men had been separated by then, and apparently the women would make a circle around her to give her a little bit of privacy in order to be able to go to the bathroom. It’s an interesting memory that she had. And then I guess the men were taken off in one direction and many of the men were sent on cars to Dachau and, I don’t know how it is that my grandfather was not on one of those cars. The women were sent home and they were very concerned whether they would see my grandfather again and when they got home, my grandmother told my mom to go get something to eat because she hadn’t had anything and she was in the kitchen and apparently all of a sudden my grandfather appeared and so, they were just feeling really fortunate and what I’ve been told, and what was on this tape, is my grandfather was the head of the Jewish war veterans in the Fürth-Nuremburg area and he considered those men to be like his men. And apparently, he negotiated to get them all back from Dachau. So, I know nothing more about how that happened, but my understanding is that he was able to get them to release them.”

Editor’s Note: Kristallnacht, or Crystal Night, also known as The Night of Broken Glass, was one of the most famous events in the history of the Holocaust. It took place on November 9-10, 1938 and was a pogrom against the Jewish population in Germany and Austria during which Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues were destroyed, Jews were beaten in the streets, and nearly 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and taken to concentration camps. It is estimated that hundreds of Jews were killed on Kristallnacht or died soon after of their injuries. Ultimately, the Nazi government fined the Jewish community of Germany 1 billion reichsmarks to clean up the destruction of their property and gave them an ultimatum: leave Germany if possible, or suffer imprisonment, deportation, or worse.