Remembering Kristallnacht 75 Years Later

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Jews worldwide marked the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), a pivotal event in Hitler's march to eradicate European Jewry.

Historians later called it Germany's worst pogrom since the Middle Ages, with some 1,500 Jews killed over a few days.

On November 9, 1938, angry mobs roamed the streets of Germany in search of Jews. For the next several days, crazed crowds attacked Jewish men, women, and children wherever they were found -- in their homes, on the street, in synagogues and shops, bludgeoning to death nearly 100 the first night and injuring hundreds more.

More than 1,000 synagogues were burned down, an estimated 7,500 businesses destroyed, and Jewish schools and cemeteries vandalized. Authorities rounded up some 30,000 Jews, confiscated their belongings, and shipped them off to concentration camps.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel marked the anniversary of Kristallnacht by calling on Germans never to forget the past and the "unbelievable way" in which Jews were humiliated in an event she said represented "a real low point in German history."

The German Foreign Ministry took the unusual step of asking 48 countries that had diplomatic missions to Germany in 1938 to search their archives for reports on Kristallnacht, ABC News reported.

Germany's Foreign Ministry, in cooperation with the Centrum Judaicum, created an exhibition entitled "From the Inside to the Outside: The 1938 November Pogroms in Diplomatic Reports from Germany," which is on display at Siftung New Synagogue in Berlin.

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