Yad Vashem Kristallnacht Photograph Memorial #announcements #holocaust #israel #photographs

Jan Meisels Allen


November 9-10 is the anniversary of Kristallnacht “the Night of Broken Glass”, pogrom against German and Austrian Jews when mobs of Germans and Austrians attacked, looted and burned Jewish shops and homes, destroyed 1,400 synagogues, killed 92 Jews and sent another 30,000 to concentration camps. The violence is widely considered a starting point for the Holocaust, in which Nazi Germany murdered 6 million Jews.


Yad Vashem has displayed previously unseen photos from the 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom. The photos were recently donated to the museum. These were the first photos the museum spokesperson was aware of depicting actions taking place indoors, as “most of the images we have of Kristallnacht are images from outside.”


Yad Vashem’s photo archive head, said the photos dispel a Nazi myth that the attacks were “a spontaneous outburst of violence” rather than a pogrom orchestrated by the state. Firefighters, SS special police officers and members of the general public are all seen in the photos participating in the Kristallnacht. The photographers themselves were an integral part of the events.


The photos were taken  were taken by Nazi photographers during the pogrom in the city of Nuremberg and the nearby town of Fuerth. They wound up in the possession of a Jewish American serviceman who served in Germany during World War II. His descendants, donated the album to Yad Vashem, as part of the institution's effort to collect Holocaust-era objects kept by survivors and their families.


Despite Nazi censorship, The Associated Press was able to send pictures from Kristallnacht when it happened that were widely used in the U.S. The images included a burning synagogue, a youth preparing to clean up glass from a Jewish shop that had been vandalized, and people standing outside damaged shops in the aftermath of the attacks.


To see more of the photos and read more see: https://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/kristallnacht/index.asp#section-overview


To read more see:



Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee




This is a wonderful resource. There are so many who lived but were unable to tell their stories. My friend, who was born in 1929 in Austria, was too traumatized to record his story. He remembered Kristallnacht well. The synagogue on his street was looted and prayer books (and perhaps other items) burned in the street. He was lucky. His family managed to leave Austria during the week of the Anschluss. He and his two younger brothers lived in foster care in Wales for a year while their mother got settled and their father served in the Royal Army. I can only imagine how hard it was to be separated from one's parents and placed where one did not know the language. Later he emigrated to Israel and then to America. He always said he felt most comfortable in Israel. 

Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC