Kristallnacht (KRIS-tahl-nahkht) listen


  • n. A pogrom against Jews on November 9, 1938, in which the Nazis destroyed Jewish homes, synagogues, hospitals, cemeteries, and businesses.

Example Sentences

  • "Evil triumphs when good men do nothing and Kristallnacht was that moment. When the world did nothing, evil saw their path." (source)

Languages of Origin

  • German


  • Kristall 'crystal' +‎ Nacht 'night', alluding to the shattered windows of homes, synagogues, hospitals, cemeteries, and businesses

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education


      • North America


      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).


  • "During this government-sponsored pogrom, the Nazis shattered the windows of more than 1,000 synagogues in Germany, desecrating Torah scrolls and burning prayer books. They destroyed Jewish hospitals, cemeteries, businesses, and homes. Ninety-one Jews were murdered, and 30,000 were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Kristallnacht marked a turning point in Hitler’s campaign against the Jews. This escalation of violence was considered to be the beginning of the horrors of World War II." (JPS)

    Also known as The Night of Broken Glass.

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