Cover: Kristallnacht 1938, from Harvard University PressCover: Kristallnacht 1938 in HARDCOVER

Kristallnacht 1938

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$41.00 • £35.95 • €37.95

ISBN 9780674036239

Publication Date: 11/15/2009


224 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

Belknap Press


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Illuminating… To capture the full significance of Kristallnacht, it is necessary to see the pogrom not in hindsight, but through contemporary eyes—and that is the achievement of Steinweis’s short but revelatory book. Knowing what came after, we tend to see the pogrom of November 1938 as a prelude to genocide; but to those who lived through it, it was precisely the unprecedented quality of Kristallnacht that made it so momentous.—Adam Kirsch, The Tablet

In this brief but searing book, Steinweis provides a vivid retelling, buttressed by numerous accounts of individual incidents and also provides a new slant on what actually happened in those terrible days.—Martin Rubin, Washington Times

Steinweis analyzes newly released internal memos and court documents from the trials of the pogrom’s perpetrators, enabling us to better understand the day that set the stage for the murder of the Jews of Europe.Jewish Book World

Utilizing primary sources, including the voices of both victims and victimizers, [Steinweis] illustrates that ‘ordinary’ Germans gleefully took part in what amounted to a pogrom against their fellow citizens. This is an outstanding re-examination of a seminal event along the road leading to mass murder.—Jay Freeman, Booklist

Masterful, wise, and utterly convincing. This judicious and moving book depicts a conflagration that both continued the assault on Jews in Germany since 1933 and turned sharply toward unprecedented destruction.—Doris L. Bergen, Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Studies, University of Toronto

Steinweis has radically changed our perspective on Kristallnacht, contributing new insights to the ongoing discussion of the extent and limits of popular anti-Semitism in Germany.—Peter Hayes, Professor of History and German, Northwestern University

A powerful, clearly written and convincing account of the range of human motivations that led a hate-filled minority to violently attack their neighbors and fellow citizens. Kristallnacht 1938 is an important advance in our understanding of the relationship between the Nazi regime and the German public in the years preceding World War II and the Holocaust.—Jeffrey Herf, author of The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust

Kristallnacht 1938 offers chilling insight into just how far, on the eve of the Shoah, members of the German public supported and encouraged radical policies designed to eliminate Jews from German society forever… It yields unexpected insights into the nature of a regime and society whose actions continue to unsettle the conscience of humankind.—Gordon J. Horwitz, author of Ghettostadt: Łódź and the Making of a Nazi City

A subtle yet powerful account of the “Night of Broken Glass,” perhaps the first national pogrom in history. Steinweis’s probing yields a far more damning picture of complicity on the part of ordinary people than we are accustomed to. An important contribution, a much-needed corrective, and a disturbing book.—Richard S. Levy, Professor of History, University of Illinois at Chicago

A remarkable new look at the German pogrom of November 1938 that includes both clear local detail on the massive participation of Germans in assaults on their neighbors and also a balanced and thoughtful analysis of the whole event, its development, and its repercussions.—Gerhard L. Weinberg, author of A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II

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