Fact Sheet


November 9 - 10, 1938


Jewish communities throughout Germany and Austria


Mobs of Germans and Austrians, acting under instructions of the Nazi hierarchy


Arrested and sent to concentration camps (Buchenwald, Dachau, Sachsenhausen): 30,000 Jews (8,000 from Austria)   


36 Jews (other sources put this figure at 91) 36 more severely injured

Vandalized and/or set ablaze:

7500 Jewish homes and businesses 267 synagogues (76 completely destroyed)


Assassination of German diplomat, Ernst vom Rath, by Polish- Jewish refugee, Herschel Grynszpan, in an attempt to protest the forced deportation of his family, among the others, to the Polish- German border.


Nazi policy decision based on:

  • Internal Nazi Party power struggles as segments of the party (i.e. The S.A., the propaganda section) wanted a greater role in the anti- Jewish activities
  • Urge to expedite the exclusion of Jews from German life
  • Economic factors such as the necessity to raise large amounts of money to pay for the rearmament of the German military
  • 15th anniversary of Hitler's "Beer-Hall m Putsch" of 1923 created an atmosphere that encouraged street violence



  • The Jewish community is immediately fined 1,000,000,000 Reichsmarks; Nazi government confiscates all insurance claims
  • Nazis expedite plan for "elimination of the Jew from (the) economic life" of Germany established as official policy, November 12, 1938

Simon Wiesenthal Center-Museum of Tolerance Library & Archives 
For more information contact us at (310) 772-7605 or library@wiesenthal.com.
We are located at 1399 S. Roxbury Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90035, 3rd Floor

In This Section

Buy Tickets Contact Us

Become a Member Volunteer Calendar

Sign up for E-News