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AQA, Edexcel, OCR

Last updated 10 Apr 2018

Kristallnacht was the response by the Nazis to attack Jewish homes, businesses and places of worship during November 1938. The Nazis had used an attack on a German diplomat by a Jew in Paris to justify the retaliation.

Joseph Goebbels was particularly involved in Kristallnacht, through his orders to newspaper printers to publish widely the events in Paris. Nazis forces attacked Jewish homes and synagogues.


After the German diplomat had died, the attacks went national. Hitler ordered that local Nazi forces were to attack Jewish businesses, but they were to wear plain clothes to do this. Hitler also instructed the police not to become involved stopping the attacks.


In total, 191 synagogues were destroyed across Germany and around 100 Jews were killed. After the events of Kristallnacht, the Jews were fined 1 billion Reichsmarks for instigating the violence and to pay for any damage. This was followed up with by the rounding up of Jews and interning them in concentration camps. 

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