The tragedy of Kristallnacht was not the destruction. No nation has been free of violence. No nation has been free of the rowdiness of the ignorant. The tragedy, rather, was that government, which should protect the individual and his property against violence, in this instance encouraged and abetted the violence against the Jews. The violence was a joint act by the government and the populace. Early on the day of November 9 a message went out from Gestapo headquarters: "There will be very shortly in Germany actions against the Jews, especially against the synagogues. These actions are not to be interfered with."
- Leonard Baker
Simon Wiesenthal Center-Museum of Tolerance Library & Archives
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