While Hitler and Goebbels watched and gloated:
Reichspogromnacht in Munich
11 pm, November 9th, 1938
The order came from Munich’s historic town hall.
It came from Adolf Hitler, who was celebrating his failed putsch of 1923. With Joseph Goebbels and other Nazi leaders – and with 40 members of his “Stoßtrupp Adolf Hitler”.
After Goebbels whipped up hate against the Jews in a speech given in the hall, Hitler ordered his “attack unit” to wreak havoc on Munich’s Jews.
And that’s precisely what the unit did.
Within minutes of receiving Hitler’s order, the unit and other SS and SA were busy carrying it out.
They were beating up Jews, and burning and ransacking their stores, old age homes and apartments.
One Jew – Joachim Both – died on the spot – many more as a result of their injuries and the deprivation experienced in Dachau and other concentration camps – to which hundreds were sent.
The prime target of the Stoßtrupp: Munich’s huge and beautiful Ohel Jakob synagogue, which was home to the city’s Reform congregation, and which was located in the heart of downtown Munich.
After desecrating the Torah rolls and anything else they could get their hands on, the unit torched the synagogue.
Joachim Both was one of the first of the 5,000 Munich Jews to be killed by the Nazis – or to have been forced to commit suicide.
Munich was just one of hundreds of cities in which Jews were exposed to the terror of the pogrom.
During the night of November 9th and the morning of November 10th, 1200 synagogues and 7,000 Jewish-owned stores and offices were destroyed in Germany. Some 1,300 Jews were killed on the spot. Another 26,000 Jews were sent to concentration and detention camps. Many didn’t survive.
Reichspogromnacht was the start of the main phase of the Holocaust.