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'Kristallnacht was a spontaneous event by the German people' - How far do these sources support this claim?

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History Coursework Question: Study all the Sources. 'Kristallnacht was a spontaneous event by the German people.' How far do these sources support this claim? Answer: There are 3 different theories between these 6 different sources. Source A states how it was Goebbels idea whilst Source H agrees with this. Source B, D and I both state how Kristallnacht was a spontaneous event from the German public. It is hard to obtain which Sources are reliable and which aren't. This is because every source was written from someone who had their own opinions and this makes all of the sources biased, although some more than others. However the most popular theory is that it was a planned event by the Nazi's. Sources C, E, F and G both back this up. ...read more.


This is not a reliable source. Anti-Semitism views were considered normal at those times so of course they were going to be treated badly. The German-Jew also would be biased as he was the victim and he is clearly angry with his oppressors. Source I is from a conversation between Hitler and the wife of his favourite Architect. He does not blame anyone either merely saying "the people responsible have destroyed everything for me". He also mentions how he had hoped to come to an understanding with France. If this was true then why did he start a war with them just one year later? Sources C, E, F and G agree that it was a planned event by the Nazi party. Source C is a very reliable account of what happened. ...read more.


Sources F and G are cartoons that both show the Nazi's as the persecutors and both highlight the killing and destruction that took place. They are from the same time as Kristallnacht and both highlight that the German public did little in the event. I conclude that Kristallnacht was never "a spontaneous event by the German people". I say this because the evidence that backs it up is misleading, confusing and from unreliable sources. I believe that it was a planned event by the Nazi's although I cannot say if Hitler or Goebbels planned it because the information provided is too misleading. The evidence claiming that it was a planned event by the Nazi's is strong, reliable and fits in with the other sources. For example Sources C and E almost mirror each other, giving detailed information about who was involved and what they did. The two sources compliment each other so well that it is hard to ignore them as unreliable. ...read more.

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