Kristallnacht: Book summary and reviews of Kristallnacht by Martin Gilbert

Kristallnacht

Prelude to Destruction

By Martin Gilbert

Kristallnacht
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2006,
    320 pages.

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Book Summary

On November 7, 1938, a young Jew, enraged by his family's expulsion from Germany, walked into the German embassy in Paris and fired five shots at a junior diplomat. Three days later the diplomat was dead, and Germany was in the grips of skillfully orchestrated anti-Jewish violence.

In the early hours of November 10, Nazi storm troopers and Hitler Youth rampaged through Jewish neighborhoods across Germany, leaving behind them a horrifying trail of terror and destruction. With rare insight and acumen, Martin Gilbert, one of the leading historians of our time, examines Kristallnacht -- the Night of Broken Glass -- and describes how the rest of the world reacted in its wake. His narration of that night and day of terror is chilling, vividly conveying its scale and intensity through more than fifty previously unpublished eyewitness testimonies and graphic newspaper accounts of the events as they unfolded. No other attack on Jews during the course of the Second World War was as widely reported by contemporary observers.

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"Starred Review. Gilbert's commanding account then traces the origins of Kristallnacht in the years of mounting Jewish discrimination that began when Hitler came to power in 1933, and shows how Kristallnacht pointed the way toward the events to come." - PW.
"A powerful account of the helplessness of the Jews." - Booklist.

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