Newsroom Veranstaltungen Team & Kontakt

1938 November Pogrom

By 1938, boycotts and occupational bans had robbed most German Jews of their employment and their incomes. Accused of being "work shy," they were then forced to perform degrading tasks in public. The employment offices played a central role in these exclusionary practices. After the 1938 pogrom, they began assigning Jews to segregated work gangs at construction sites.

Beim Pogrom verhaftete Juden aus Burgpreppach bei der Zwangsarbeit, November 1938
Jews from Burgpreppach arrested during the November pogrom and sent to forced labor, November 1938.
You can see three rows of forced labourers marching in rank and file. The two men in the front are holding up a banner. It has the inscription: "'Kolonne Grünspan' learns to work!" A Star of David is painted next to it.
Near Burgpreppach, November 1938. The photograph was sent to “Der Stürmer”by four guards. The banner is inscribed :“The Grünspan gang learns how to work !”
You can see the back of a postcard which is written in italics. It reads: "Warm greetings from your loyal fellow fighters from the Jewish camp in Hofheim / Mainfranken. In the foreground on the left you see Rabbi Nussbaum, on the right teacher Linz from Burgpreppach. Heil Hitler!"
The photo sent to “Der Stürmer” had an inscription on reverse, November 1938: “Best wishes from your loyal comrades-in-arms from the Jews’ camp in Hofheim, Main-Franconia. In the foreground is Rabbi Nussbaum, and on the right is the teacher Linz from Burgpreppach. Heil Hitler!“

In Burgpreppach (Bavaria), Jewish men were not only forced to work in the fields, but they were also coerced into removing the rubble of the synagogue, which burnt to the ground during the pogrom. On their way to work, they had to carry a banner in front of them, which mocked them as "work-shy" and blamed them for the pogrom. After two weeks, they were taken to the Dachau concentration camp.

An assault that took place in Paris served the Nazis as a pretext for the pogroms. In an act of desperation over his familys expulsion from Germany, a certain Herschel Grynszpan shot a German diplomat. Following in the wake of this attack  the so-called "Reich Crystal Night" of November 9–10, 1938, marks the transition from the systematic exclusion and disenfranchisement of Jews to their violent persecution. More than 1,400 synagogues were destroyed, and some 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and deported to concentration camps.

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