Join Montreal Holocaust survivors as they commemorate  Kristallnacht, the pogrom organized by the Nazis on November 9 and 10, 1938. It marked the intensification of a regime of terror against the Jews of the Third Reich, which was met with indifference of the international community.

  • Sunday, November 8, 2020 at 3:00 pm on Zoom
  • Commemorative songs and prayers
  • Keynote address from Jonathan Kirsch, author of The Short Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan 

The Short Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan

The Short Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan

“On the morning of November 7, 1938, Herschel Grynszpan, a desperate seventeen-year-old Jewish refugee, walked into the German embassy in Paris and shot Ernst vom Rath, a Nazi diplomat. Two days later vom Rath lay dead, and the Third Reich exploited the murder to unleash Kristallnacht in a bizarre concatenation of events that would rapidly involve Ribbentrop, Goebbels, and Hitler himself. But was Grynszpan a crazed lone gunman or agent provocateur of the Gestapo? Was he motivated by a desire to avenge Jewish people, or did his act of violence speak to an intimate connection between the assassin and his target, as Grynszpan later claimed? Part page-turning historical thriller and part Kafkaesque legal drama, The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan brings to life the historical details and moral dimensions of one of the most enigmatic cases of World War II. This compelling biography presents a story with twists and turns that “no novelist could invent” (Alice Kaplan / Penguin Random House).

Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass)

Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass is the name given to the violent attacks (pogrom) against the businesses, places of worship and homes of the Jews throughout Germany and in the annexed countries (Austria and Sudetenland) on November 9 and 10, 1938. This violence was implemented by the Nazi leaders. The sound of broken glass heard during this attack explains the name given to the event.

Learn more about Kristallnacht and the Holocaust.

The Impact of Kristallnacht

“The events of Kristallnacht represented one of the most important turning points in National Socialist antisemitic policy. Historians have noted that after the pogrom, anti-Jewish policy was concentrated more and more concretely into the hands of the SS. Moreover, the passivity with which most German civilians responded to the violence signaled to the Nazi regime that the German public was prepared for more radical measures.” (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Listen to Dora Cohen’s testimony on our YouTube channel:

 

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