This website is a memorial to the former synagogues of German Jewry that had been attacked during the pogroms in November 1938. The Nazi-orchestrated pogrom of the night of November 9-10, 1938 was dubbed "Kristallnacht" ("Crystal Night") by the German authorities and press. In coining this term, Nazi propagandists - whose intention was to beautify a night of inhuman cruelty, theft, violence, and destruction - drew inspiration from the sight of glittering mounds of broken glass; all that remained after thousands of windows were smashed as rioters wrecked, and in many places burned synagogues and prayer halls, and vandalized and looted Jewish homes and businesses. In this night German Jewry came after around 1500 years to an abrupt halt.
This website contains 1400 histories of each community and its synagogue that had been attacked during Pogrom Night. On the one hand each story summarizes stories of foundation, enriching cultural exchange and coexistence, and on the other hand each single community history documents phases of banishment, violence, anti-Semitism, and prejudice.
Not included are around 600 synagogues or prayer halls, defunct or operating, that were not damaged on Pogrom Night itself, unless they were attacked at an earlier or later date. After the pogrom almost all of these synagogues had been closed by order of the German authority, too. Nonetheless, the project team wishes to acknowledge the importance of these synagogues and the Jews who built them, and the project team pays tribute to them.