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Kristallnacht - source study

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Introduction

KRISTALLNACHT (a) Both sources are clearly describing the same event, a social gathering of Nazi Party leaders in Munich on the evening of 9th November 1938, but each has a slightly different emphasis. Source B is an official, but secret, report written by the Nazi Party Supreme Court after Kristallnacht and appears to understate the events of that evening and also the Nazi Party's part in it. Whilst it doesn't hide Hitler's and Goebbel's contempt of the Jews when it states'...but neither were they to be discouraged....' when describing the demonstrations, neither does it elaborate about their part in starting them. Instead it plays that down by stating'...they were not to be organised by the Party...' If this is a secret report, which was not meant to be read by anyone other than the Nazis, then it was very low key and matter of fact. There is no glorification of the Nazis' part in Kristallnacht. Source A is supposed to be a first hand account of the events that took place at a social dinner attended by only like minded Nazi Party members where they could relax and act normally. The sort of actions and reactions described by the author, who was a member of the Nazi Party public relations machine are believable. ...read more.

Middle

However, in the end, when the people realised that this was merely a smokescreen and things did not get better, they rose up and overthrew the monarchy and promptly executed all the Royal Family. Hence the message from Tsar Nicolas ll, to the German soldier, not to make the mistake of blaming the Jews. In source G, we see, in the background a Germany in ruins representing either the damage caused by Kristallnacht and/or the depressed state of the German economy ravaged by unemployment, hyperinflation, collapsing. And there in the middle of all this is the Nazi standing defiantly over the body of the dead and beaten Jew and pointing his clenched fist skywards to God (?), threatening and blaming Him for what His people, the Jews, have done and what he will do to them - completely ignoring the real problems of a Germany in ruins and its people gagged and repressed by the force and brutality of the Nazi Party, as represented by the chained woman. However the warning in the cartoon, as with Tsar Nicolas ll, is the sword and shield and helmet, which, to my mind, are symbols of the German peoples' tradition of strength and fighting ability. ...read more.

Conclusion

Again in source E we see that again the "German people have nothing to do with these attacks" so again telling us it was carried out by SS men indicating that the attacks were indeed planned by the Nazi. So as we see there is much evidence that supports the fact that the Nazis' did in fact plan the Kristallnacht. However there are some sources that support the idea that the Kristallnacht was a vicious up rising form the German people. Source B backs this up, which decided, "there had been anti-Jewish demonstrations in Munich during which Jewish shops had been demolished and synagogues set on fire" so the Nazi party had decided that the Kristallnacht was a spontaneous attack. I also think that source D backs it up which tells that the problems had been building up for weeks previous to Kristallnacht. And so backs up that it was spontaneous. So after looking at all of the evidence it seems conclusive that Kristallnacht was a vicious planned attack by the Nazi party. I say this because most of the evidence I have collected has pointed to the Nazis' and that it was all a vicious attempt for Goebbles to get back in Hitler's good books. ...read more.

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