On the night of Nov. 9, 1938, Nazis attacked Jewish businesses and religious sites around Germany, destroying thousands of stores and synagogues. This evening became known as Kristallnacht or crystal night – and marked the commencement of many of the horrors of the Holocaust.

Some memorable quotes on this evening and the Holocaust:

  • “Kristallnacht’ is a German word that consists of two parts: ‘Kristall’ translates to ‘crystal’ and refers to the look of broken glass and ‘Nacht’ means “night.” The accepted English translation is the ‘Night of Broken Glass.’” About.com
  • “Historians consider Kristallnacht as marking the beginning of the end for Europe’s Jewish community, 6 million members of which died during the ensuing Holocaust.” Chicago Tribune
  • “’Kristallnacht’ provided the Nazi government with an opportunity at last to totally remove Jews from German public life.” PBS.org
  • “Kristallnacht saw a series of coordinated attacks carried out against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on November 9 and 10 in 1938.” Sky News
  • “Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.” Yehuda Bauer
  •  “We cannot calculate the numbers of people who left, fled or were fished out of Europe just ahead of the Holocaust.” Gene Tierney
  • “There were many ways of not burdening one’s conscience, of shunning responsibility, looking away, keeping mum. When the unspeakable truth of the Holocaust then became known at the end of the war, all too many of us claimed that they had not known anything about it or even suspected anything.”  Richard von Weizsaecker
  • “For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” Elie Wiesel
  • “We are all different; because of that, each of us has something different and special to offer and each and every one of us can make a difference by not being indifferent.” Henry Friedman
  • “How can Jews tolerate even the slightest hint that their children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren might question the truth of what occurred and that they might, chas v’sholom, simply dismiss it as something that is not really applicable to them?” Yet, sadly, in many circles, this is already happening. Because of this, all Jews have a distinct mission — never to allow the world in general and Jews in particular to forget or minimize what the Holocaust has meant to us as a nation. All of us owe the six million who perished al Kiddush Hashem a debt that can only be repaid by making sure that they did not do so in vain.”  Ruth Lichtenstein, Project Witness


Am Israel Chai!