Historical Figure & Event

Kristallnacht occurred in 1938.

November 09
Calendar Activity Type
Historical Figure & Event

Event Description

In 1938, as Hitler began to dominate the lives of the Jewish population of Germany, Nazi soldiers were ordered to destroy Jewish stores and homes on what became known as Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass.

Classroom Activity

Many of the lessons associated with a study of Kristallnacht and the Holocaust focus on the incredibly vicious treatment of the Jews at the hands of Hitler and the Nazis. It is difficult to get students to understand how it was possible for the leaders of Germany at the time to wreak havoc on a segment of the German citizenry without others coming to their aid or rescue. To facilitate students' understanding, a journal prompt asking them to recall a time when they failed to come to the assistance of someone who needed help could be used at the beginning of the class period. An alternative would be to read "The Good Samaritan" from Rene Saldana's story collection Finding Our Way, in which a young man wrestles with just this situation.


This resource discusses the events leading up to Kristallnacht. Links to books used as sources are included.

Photographs and other historical documents about Kristallnacht detail the horror and destruction of that night.

This map, from the Florida Center for Educational Technology's A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust, provides information about the more than 200 synagogues destroyed during Kristallnacht. Links to timelines and other pieces of information are also at this site.

Here are some strategies and resources to guide you in teaching this topic from Echoes & Reflections.

Related Resources