Eye-witness accounts held by the Wiener Library taken immediately following the state-sanctioned campaign of hatred against Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe on the 9/10 November 1938 have been translated for the first time to mark the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass).
Extract from Account B104 Undated
With reference to recent events in Germany, I would like to give the following account of what I experienced during the night of 9-10 November.
At about midnight my phone rang; it was a man from K. who asked me to take him in, as something terrible had happened, and he needed to come at once. Of course I agreed to this, and the man arrived, pale and terribly agitated, without a hat or coat, and told me what had happened:
He was sitting in a Jewish cafe, when a troop of young men in uniform with loaded revolvers came storming in and yelled ‘Revenge for Paris!’ He heard a shot, and meanwhile the entire cafe was vandalised, and he managed to escape. I add that the owner of the cafe has subsequently died of his injuries. He said that it had been absolutely horrific to witness this. He had run to the Konigsallee (main street of D.), where he saw people smashing the windows of a Jewish fashion salon. He heard people shouting ‘Hang the Jews from the trees!’
The man remained with me for a short time. Naturally, I invited him to stay the night in my flat, but he wanted to go home. I did not believe that the houses would also be attacked, but hardly had the man left when I heard a terrible banging and crashing from the house next door. I ran to the window, and heard a crowd of young men shouting, ‘Right, now let’s get this house and these families!’ I heard that they were intending to come to my flat too, so I hastily closed the door of the flat and the door to my bedroom, got my sleeping son out of his bed – we were alone in the flat – and locked myself in the bathroom.