|The Kristallnacht and Dutch Jews living in Germany|
During the pogrom in the night of 9 - 10 November 1938 – commonly known as the Kristallnacht – Jews throughout Germany were attacked, murdered or coerced into taking their own lives. Synagogues were torched and Jewish shops, homes and cemeteries were vandalised. In the days that followed some 30,000 Jews were incarcerated in concentration camps.
After Kristallnacht (NIOD 2068)
The pogrom marked the transition from a situation in which German Jews were being driven abroad through relentless discrimination to a situation of mounting, systematic persecution.
In1938 there were also Jews with Dutch nationality in the Third Reich. Their possessions were no less spared during the Kristallnacht, much to the indignation of the Dutch Legation in Berlin. On 14 November 1938 the incensed delegate sent a letter to the Auswärtiges Amt, insisting on immediate compensation for damage suffered by the Dutch victims.
Some Dutch Jews sent lists of their destroyed possessions to the legation, who forwarded them to the Auswärtiges Amt with a demand for compensation. The list sent by the Levison family provides a room-by-room account of what was destroyed, including their daughter’s trousseau (entry 313).
[Besides illustrating the indignation of the Dutch diplomats and the consternation of Dutch Jews that they, as Dutch nationals, had been exposed to such violence, this response suggests that the government fought first and foremost for its own people: nowhere in this correspondence is the ‘attack’ on German Jews condemned (dossier 357).]